This August, voters north of Olympia and Lacey who live in South Bay Fire District 8 will decide about the district’s tax levy next year. But first, by Monday, May 8, the district seeks volunteers interested in participating in voter pamphlet statement pro and con committees.
South Bay Fire District 8’s territory is located north of those served by Olympia Fire Department and Lacey Fire District 3. Its five commissioners recently approved a proposition to voters that would “establish its 2023 regular property tax levy at $1.50 per $1,000.00 of assessed valuation for collection in 2024 and to set its annual growth rate at six percent for the following five years,” according to the district's website.
Property owners in Fire District 8, formally known as Thurston County Fire Protection District 8, paid $1.20 per $1,000 of assessed valuation in 2023, down from $1.50 per $1,000 a few years ago. State law limits the amount of increased taxes collected on existing properties to 1% over the previous year; the combined values of properties in the district have increased, which forced down the levy tax rate.
“All fire agencies are facing significant cost increases due to declining volunteerism, COVID-19 impacts, and inflation,” according to Chief Brian VanCamp in a statement. In 2022, Fire District 8 was staffed by 16 paid responders and 32 volunteers, according to the district’s website.
The district held a public meeting on March 30 to present details of its plans and the ballot measure. A video recording of the meeting is available, above and on the district's website. (Note that the first two-and-a-half minutes have no sound recorded.)
Contact Heidi Stumpf at 360-491-5320 or email@example.com by close of business, Monday, May 8, 2023, to discuss participating on one of the committees.
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