The East Pierce Fire and Rescue Maintenance and Operation Levy appears to have failed to muster enough support to pass according to results from the Aug. 5 primary election.
As Monday the result were 55.88 percent yes and 44.12 no.
State law required a supermajority of 60 percent.
“The levy would have allowed the fire district to maintain the current level of fire, rescue and emergency medical services,” said East Pierce Fire Chief Jerry E. Thorson. “It also would have allowed the district to increase staffing for improved firefighter safety and efficiency.” East Pierce Fire and Rescue is funded at a rate of $1.50 per thousand dollars of assessed property value for fire services and 50 cents per thousand dollars of assessed value for emergency medical services. For a $250,000 home, a homeowner would expect to pay around $500 per year.
The levy passed in 2012 added an additional cost of 38 cents per thousand dollars in assessed property value in 2013, and 43 cents per thousand dollars in assessed property value in 2014. For a $250,000 home, homeowners paid an average of $600 per year for in 2013 and 2014, a $100 increase from 2011.
The proposed four-year levy would have renewed the 2012 levy and would have increased the additional cost to an average of 50 cents per thousand dollars of assessed property value. For a $250,000 home, homeowners could have expected to pay an average of $625 per year for the four years the levy would have been in effect, a $25 increase from the previous two years.
The proposed four-year levy was estimated to raise an average of 4.8 million per year between 2015 and 2018.“I do believe that the public appreciates and values our services,” Thorson said. “They just couldn’t approve an increase in their taxes at this time.”
Thorson said that the Board of Fire Commissioners and command staff are now reviewing funding options for next year.