BENTON COUNTY, Wash. — Ballots for the Washington Primary Election are due Tuesday, August 2nd. If you live in Benton County, you have the opportunity to vote on the levy lid lift for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) for Benton County Fire District #4.
Leaders with BCFD #4 share that EMS calls make up 62% of all the calls they receive. Officials said call volumes have also increased by 42% since 2016, which is the last time voters approved a levy lid lift.
"Our call volume has dramatically increased over the last ten years, almost a 50% increase. Then last year we saw a significant one-year increase also, and an additional about 400 calls a year for us," explained Chief Paul Carlyle with BCFD #4. "So as the population keeps growing out here, more businesses and houses are coming out here. "
Fire leaders said in 2016, voters approved a levy of 50 cents per $1,000 of property value. Since then, they said the levy has fallen to 35 cents per $1,000 of property value.
Now, fire officials are asking the levy to be lifted back to 50 cents. Leaders said if the 15-cent increase is approved, it would cost homeowners an additional $52.20 per year. They said this is based on a home with an assessed value of $350,000.
They share this would allow them to hire more personnel to handle the increase in call volumes.
If approved, the levy lid lift would take effect in 2023.
For more information, you can visit the Benton County Fire District #4 Facebook by clicking here.
You can also visit their website by clicking here.