SJC Fire Protection District #2 to add levy lift to August ballot

Submitted by Orcas Fire and Rescue.

The Board of Fire Commissioners has decided to put a proposition for a levy lid lift before voters in the August primary.

The funds available under the current tax limit are insufficient to maintain the current level of service provided by Orcas Island Fire & Rescue. There is an increase in the response standards and demand for fire and emergency medical services. At the same time, inflation causes a considerable increase in the cost of these provided services.

This levy is the primary funding source for fire and emergency medical services provided by Orcas Island Fire & Rescue. Without these funds, the response time to an emergency would drastically increase.

“The increase in revenue allows the District to budget for the continued fire engine and ambulance refurbishments and replacements, as well as keeping up with the increased cost of doing business based on recent inflation,” says Assistant Chief vanSchaick. “We want to maintain the current response level and provide funding integral to volunteer recruitment and retention.”

The levy lid lift would increase its regular property tax levy to $1.06/$1,000 of assessed valuation in 2023. The current levy was approved by voters in 2014 at $1.05/$1000. Due to the rapid increase in property values and the statutory 1% limitation on annual property tax (I-747), the current levy rate has decreased to approximately $0.58.

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