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West Pierce Fire District To Place Levy On August Ballot

The two-year, $17.9 million measure would replace the existing levy if passed.

Here's a press release from West Pierce Fire District:

The West Pierce Board of Commissioners voted May 17, 2011 to place a two-year maintenance and operations levy request on the August 16th ballot.

This two-year request is for $17.9 million dollars and replaces the existing levy. The levied amount will be collected over a two-year period and funds approximately 25 percent of the district' operating budget in 2012 and 2013.

As a result of declining property values, the district is currently collecting tax revenues that are less than they collected in 2008 and with the approval of this levy, it is projected that homeowners in the District will pay less total taxes to West Pierce than they are paying today.

West Pierce Fire & Rescue holds a Class 3 rating from the Washington State Survey and Rating Bureau, one of only three fire departments in Pierce County to receive such a high rating. Renewal of this levy will provide the funding necessary to maintain the high level of service that is currently provided. 

In this challenging economy, the district has worked very hard to contain costs.  For instance, all employees have agreed to concessions for the past two years.

As Chief Ken Sharp stated, “Our employees recognized that the citizens of Lakewood and University Place have supported them with levies for many years.  I’m extremely proud of these employees for stepping up to accept concessions during this trying economic time in order to maintain the service levels these same citizens have come to expect.”

West Pierce Fire & Rescue staffs seven fire stations around the clock throughout the communities of University Place and Lakewood, providing fire suppression, emergency medical response and transport, technical rescue, fire code enforcement and a wide range of fire and injury prevention classes to the Clover Park and University Place School Districts and other public forums.

James Rand July 02, 2011 at 11:22 AM
"As a result of declining property values, the district is currently collecting tax revenues that are less than they collected in 2008 and with the approval of this levy, it is projected that homeowners in the District will pay less total taxes to West Pierce than they are paying today." Is West Pierce asking us for less money? Please explain Brent.
Ken Campbell July 02, 2011 at 03:08 PM
With the merger with Lakewood, the District needs to provide some comparisons of savings and levy rates. I would also like to know how much a Class 3 rating saves us on homeowners insurance. The assessed value of my property is 12 % lower for 2011 vs 2009, yet the Fire District M&O levy rate is 9% higher, the EMS levy rate is 27% higher, and the maintenance levy rate is 27 % higher,(combined 19% higher). As a matter of note, the levy rate for the City of UP is 16% higher and the County is 19% higher over this same 2 year period.

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