VOTE YES ON SPOKANE COUNTY FIRE DISTRICT 9’S M&O LEVY AUGUST 6th, 2024

Welcome! This webpage will provide you with the information you need to vote “Yes” on the Fire District 9 2025-2027 M&O Levy. Voting happens on August 6th, 2024.

What is the M&O Levy?

This levy is the renewal of a property tax approved by you to supplement the maintenance and operational costs of Fire District 9. The funds collected from this levy sustain the level of service you expect from your fire department. Without your approval of the M&O Levy, Fire District 9’s funding would be reduced by approximately 65%. More importantly, you and your family would be at a greater risk to loss of life and property.

What services do I receive from the M&O Levy?

The M&O Levy improves fire department services across the board for structure fires, wildland fires, medical emergencies, car accidents, and hazardous materials response. Specifically, the M&O Levy provides:

  • 24/7 Full-time staffing
  • Immediate incident response
  • Special Operations (technical rescue and rescue task force)
  • Paramedic services
  • Advanced life support
  • Improved cardiac care for heart attacks
  • Advanced airway management
  • Special pediatric care
  • Lower home insurance rates
  • Safer working conditions for fire department personnel
  • Public education opportunities

Is this a new tax?

No. The August 6th M&O Levy is a renewal of an expiring levy. Fire District 9 asks for your approval on this special levy every three years, and for nearly the past 3 decades this special levy has funded the fire department services you have come to expect.

Does the M&O Levy fund all of Fire District 9’s services?

The services you receive from Fire District 9 come from two sources: a regular levy and a special levy.

Presently, 65% of the Fire District’s budget comes from the M&O special levy. The special levy allows the Fire District to operate and function to the community’s expectations. For example: rapid response to any fire or medical emergency or vehicle accident, all-hazards response, fire prevention for new building construction, personnel and manpower to provide those duties, etc.

The remaining 35% of the budget is covered by a regular levy, which has been in place since Fire District 9’s inception in 1948. Regular levies are non-voted.

Does the M&O Levy have an impact on my home insurance rate?

Yes, the M&O Levy can have an indirect impact on your home insurance rate. Here’s how it works:

As with every fire district in Washington State, Fire District 9 is evaluated by Washington Surveying Rating Bureau (WSRB).  The WSRB provides home insurance companies with a rating based on services provided by Fire District 9. This rating is based on factors such as 24-hour staffing, personnel training hours, number and location of fire stations, response times, Advanced Life Support services, annual hydrant testing, types of apparatus, and apparatus age to name a few. In turn, your home insurance company uses the WSRB rating as a tool in determining your home insurance premium.

If the M&O Levy does not pass, Fire District 9 will experience a radical decrease in 24/7 full-time personnel, staffed stations will be decreased, and advanced life support services will have a reduced response time. These are just a few of the impacts in the level of service. Additionally, you would see a reduction in public education, fire prevention services, and overall incident response times. Consequently, Fire District 9’s WSRB rating will decrease and ultimately your home insurance premiums will increase. (https://www1.wsrb.com/)

What is the difference between a regular levy and a special levy?

Regular levy: A taxing district, through legal charter, imposes a regular levy to start funding its service. District citizens do not renew a regular levy; it is automatically applied through the county assessor’s office.

Fire District 9’s regular levy started with the fire department’s inception in 1948. Since then the regular levy rate has been determined by the Spokane County Assessor’s Office. Currently, the regular levy for Fire District 9 covers only about 35% of the department’s services.

Special levy: A special levy is a voter-approved property tax that is in addition to a regular levy. Special levies supplement the funding needs of a taxing district to improve levels of service.

Fire District 9’s Special M&O Levy fills the financial gap between funds from the regular levy and the level of service expected by citizens. The M&O Levy provides for approximately 65% of the department’s services, specifically maintenance and operational costs.

Do you want to show your support and display a “Vote Yes Fire Levy” yard sign at your home? It’s free! If so, please fill out the form below and we will be in contact with you shortly.