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Fire Levy Lid Lift - Primary Election to Decide Fire District Funding

The Board of Commissioners of the McLane Black Lake Fire Department have placed a Proposition Establishing Property Tax Levy on the ballot for voters’ consideration. This is not a new levy but is the existing regular fire property tax levy that pays for the staffing and operations of the Fire District.


The McLane Black Lake Fire Department regular fire levy has continued to decrease since the last voter approved measure ended. The previous measure approved in 2007 set the rate at a $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value. Since it ended in 2013, the levy has dropped to $1.17 per $1,000 of assessed value (AV).

image of fire levy lid lift - facts & information

If approved by voters, the fire levy rate would be returned to $1.50 per $1,000 of AV. This is called a fire “Levy Lid Lift.” The Lid lift will reset the Regular Fire Levy to the statutory limit of $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value. It is important that you understand how your fire and emergency medical services are provided and funded so that you can have the information necessary to make an informed decision before you vote.


Funding from the fire levy supports Fire District operations on a day-to-day basis and maintains emergency services levels. This includes funding for personnel, training, equipment, and firefighting and emergency medical supplies. It also pays for the on-going cost of maintaining and operating fire engines, water tenders, ambulances and rescue vehicles and equipment. Funding for these items is essential to delivering services and maintaining insurance rating levels.

The primary funding mechanism, that allows fire districts to collect a maximum regular levy of $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value was established in law many years ago, in the day when most fire departments provided
services primarily as volunteer organizations, and before Emergency Medical Services were provided. The structure was neighbor helping neighbor. When a call for help went out, Volunteer Firefighters would respond from their homes if available, drove to the fire station, and picked up whatever fire apparatus they were assigned to and head to the scene of the incident. This response model relied heavily on community volunteers. Operating a volunteer department was less expensive than providing response services with career firefighters but it was often less reliable and resulted in longer response times.

The McLane Black Lake Fire Department has evolved into a combination fire department, meaning that fire and emergency medical response services are provided by both career and volunteer firefighters working together. This model provides the most cost-effective and efficient staffing to the community. Having a combination of paid and volunteer staffing at stations, the Fire District can provide the best response reliability when an emergency call for service is received.

Primary will be held on August 2nd, 2022.

Have a specific question, e-mail to have your question answered. 

Fire Levy Lid Lift Informational Meetings

When: Tuesday, July 12, 2022 at 6:00 p.m.

Location: Station 91 - 125 Delphi Rd NW Olympia, WA 98502

When: Monday, July 18, 2022 at 6:00 p.m.

Location: Virtual via  Zoom

Dial In Number: (253) 215-8782 

Meeting ID: 859 6890 5277

Passcode: 641946

When: Tuesday, July 19, 2022 at 6:00 p.m.

Location: In person at Station 95 - 5911 Black Lake Blvd SW Olympia, WA 98512

When: Tuesday, July 26, 2022 at 6:00 p.m.

Location: In person at Station 93 - 2815 Summit Lake Shore Rd NW Olympia, WA 98502

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