Questions increase in taxes for fire service

Editor’s note: Mr. DeVol does not live in the East Pierce Fire and Rescue tax district.

I read the same information twice in the newspaper so I assumed that just like the internet, it must be true. Twice in print it said East Pierce Fire and Rescue needed $1.3 million more money to hire nine new firefighters.

Unless government math is different, that puts the compensation of those nine new employees at $144,000 each. And proudly, East Pierce received a federal grant from a government swimming in about $20 trillion dollars of debt.

If I may put this into perspective, in 2016 my business had eight full time and three part time employees. Being a manufacturer, we purchase tens of thousands of dollars of material along with tooling, fixtures, machines, supplies, manufacturing space, warehouse space, liability insurance, skyrocketing health insurance, advertising, vehicles, taxes… and of course with this state’s B&O tax, manufacturers are double taxed for producing anything in Washington. That $1.3 million dollars needed to pay just nine firefighter, would pay for all my 11 employees and everything listed above associated with completely funding a manufacturing business and leave me with a profit of over $400,000, which then of course would be subject to a huge additional tax.

No wonder any union firefighter will tell you, “It’s a great gig,” with a big smile.

If these fire departments are so under staffed why does it take 32 of them to extract a person from a crashed airplane? If they are so understaffed why were there nine different fire agencies called in to rescue four few hikers who fell 15 feet and suffered only minor injuries?

If the East Pierce area is growing with more businesses and housing and adding additional revenues, why do they need to greatly increase what they are taking from the current property owners?

Aren’t government agencies and their unions wonderful!

Ted DeVol

Enumclaw