Snoqualmie Pass Fire and Rescue charge renewal is passing

The Snoqualmie Pass Fire and Rescue benefit charge is passing with 100% of the vote so far, according to early primary election results Aug. 4.

Voters were being asked whether to reauthorize a benefit charge for the next six years for the Snoqualmie Pass Fire and Rescue department.

As of Tuesday evening, 20 ballots had been counted among 72 registered voters. Election results will be finalized

The explanatory statement reads:

“Snoqualmie Pass Fire and Rescue provides emergency medical, and fire protection service in King and Kittitas Counties. The Board of Commissioners is requesting that voters approve the continuation of the existing benefit charge to replace the expiring six year benefit charge approved by the voters in 2014.

A benefit charge is not a property tax, but is a user fee designed to allocate the cost of the services provided by the District in reasonable proportion to the measurable benefit a property receives. The benefit charge will be based on a standard industry accepted formula that takes into consideration fire flows, the square footage of structures and the type of structures. If the benefit charge is approved the District’s statutory tax authority is reduced by $.50 per thousand of assessed valuation.

The Board of Commissioners has determined that a benefit charge established in conjunction with a lower level of property taxes provides the fairest, most stable, reliable and cost effective method for financing the operations of the District and maintaining a satisfactory level of services.

The proposition requests voters to authorize the benefit charge to be collected for six years from 2021 through 2026. The benefit charge will be established by November 30th of each year for collection the following year. Prior to establishing the benefit charge each year, the Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing and each year property owners will have the right to petition for adjustments in the amount of the benefit charge.”

It only takes a simple majority to pass. The full text of the measure can be found at the King County elections website.