Lacey Fire District asks for more money

July 29th, 2020 by Ken

Voters in the Lacey Fire District will be asked to approved a new property tax measure to help fund the fire department next year.

Lets qualify that.  Lacey Fire District Chief Steve Brooks wouldn’t call it a tax increase.  Brooks said its just a replacement levy – – a levy lid lift – that would restore the district’s taxing authority to its constitutional limit.

Whatever you call it, the property owners of Lacey and its urban growth areas will be asked to fund a tax which will bring in around $1 million dollars of additional funds for the district.

Junior taxing districts are limited to collecting $1.50 per thousand of assessed valuation to fund their operations.  The Lacey Fire District has been  collecting at that top rate, but over the last several years the dollar amount they can collect has dropped to $1.43 per thousand thanks to an increase in property tax values.  They want to move the amount back up to $1.50.   That will results in additional revenue of around $1.3 million, some of which is still due to increases in the districts assessed value.

Anyway you cut it, voters in November will be asked to give the fire district more money.

If approved by the voters, the money will be used to fund a new aid unit at Station 34,  currently under reconstruction right now on Steilacoom Road, by the Regional Athletic Complex.  Brooks said the district has grown by more than 35 percent in that area, including several senior citizen complexes.

The vote to place the measure on the November ballot wasn’t unanimous.  New Fire Commissioner Robert Motzer  argued against it claiming now was not the right time to raise property taxes and that the addition of a new aid car could wait two years until the economic conditions of Lacey improved.

Lacey Fire District is the largest fire district in the county with a budget over $24 million,

Posted in Business, Government, Local Politics, The Real News

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