CPFR provides 24-hour emergency medical and fire services to over 230,000 residents and businesses within our 84 square mile service area serving Parkland, Midland, Spanaway, South Hill, Puyallup, Summit and Frederickson.
- We are an all-hazards department ready to respond to all types of emergencies—life safety, fire, hazardous materials and rescue. We responded to nearly 34,000 incidents in 2021. We also provide training and public education services to empower individuals and businesses in our community to avoid activities that lead to injury or even death.
- Minutes matter in a fire or emergency medical situation and funding plays a major role in our response. Stable funding saves lives by ensuring we have the right equipment and trained personnel.
Funding Renewal Requests on August Ballot
- CPFR is asking voters to renew two funding sources on the August 2 primary election:
- A 6-year reauthorization of the Fire Benefit Charge (FBC): initially approved in 1990
- A 6-year reauthorization of the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Levy: initially approved in 1980
- These are not new taxes or fees. Voters have renewed both of these funding sources every 6 years for decades.
- They are a continuation of previously voter-approved funding sources that will expire unless reauthorized by the voters.
- A simple majority vote is required for each measure.
- Regular discounts and exemptions apply to those who qualify under state law. If you have an exemption from either of these funding sources now, those exemptions will continue.
- The FBC (36%) and EMS Levy (16%) make up nearly 52% of our overall budget. Other major funding sources include Fire Levy (approx. 40%) and EMS Transport Revenue (approx. 6%).
- Renewal of the FBC and EMS Levy will ensure that dependable, high quality fire and life-saving services can be maintained today and into the future. Rejection will mean CPFR will lose approximately 52% of its funding and services will be impacted.
- CPFR’s three-pronged funding strategy (FBC, EMS Levy and Fire Levy) allows us to distribute costs based on what it costs to provide fire service to each property, not just simply the value of the property. A mix of revenue sources also ensures a more stable and reliable revenue stream to provide critical public safety services to the community.
- Pay as we go for capital needs. Renewal of the EMS Levy and the FBC, along with the continued maintenance of the Fire Levy, will allow the District to fully fund operations and “pay as we go” on the physical infrastructure needed to meet the needs and growth of the communities we serve. Continued rising inflation may require some adjustments, but current financial forecasts show that these funding renewals eliminate the need to return to the voters for a capital bond measure within the six year life of the renewals being requested, and possibly beyond.
Fire Benefit Charge
- CPFR is asking voters to renew the FBC. Without voter renewal, the FBC will expire at the end of 2022.
- The FBC provides a stable and reliable method for financing the continued and dependable operations of CPFR—including during times of recession and or uncertainty.
- The FBC is a fee (not a tax), that distributes costs based on the fire risk created by different types of buildings. The fee is based on an industry accepted formula that takes into consideration the structure size and use. If your property requires more services in the event of a fire, you will pay more. You can find the exact amount you currently pay for the FBC on your property tax statement.
- Because we have the FBC, we have a lower fire levy rate. State law provides that in exchange for the authority to have an FBC, the maximum fire levy (a property tax) that can be imposed is capped at one-third lower than it would be otherwise. In other words, our maximum fire levy rate is $1.00/$1,000 assessed value* (A.V.) rather than $1.50/$1,000 A.V.
Emergency Medical Service Levy
- CPFR is asking voters to renew the EMS levy at the previously voter-approved rate of $0.50 per $1,000 A.V. Without voter renewal, the EMS levy will expire at the end of 2022.
- The EMS levy funds both Basic Life Support (BLS: first aid, basic CPR, medication administration, etc.) and Advanced Life Support (ALS: lifesaving procedures) care to our residents. 72% of CPFR call volume is Emergency Medical Services.
- If voters renew the EMS Levy at the current $0.50 per $1,000 A.V. rate, the owner of a home assessed at $500,000 will pay approximately $250 per year (or $21 per month). You can find the exact amount you currently pay for EMS on your property tax statement.
For more information please visit www.centralpiercefire.org or contact Fire Chief Dustin Morrow at firstname.lastname@example.org or 253-538-6475 or Darrin Shaw at email@example.com or 253-538-6400.
*Assessed value is used to determine what you pay in property taxes. (You can find the assessed value on your property tax statement.) The assessed value of a property is typically lower than the market value. Market value is what someone would pay for a property if it were for sale