Washington statute RCW 52.18 provides that fire districts, with the approval of the voters in their district, are authorized to collect a benefit charge from residential and commercial property owners. Once the benefit charge collection is authorized by the voters, the normal tax collection rate authorized by State Law, drops from $1.50 per thousand to $1.00 per thousand of assessed value.
The Fire Benefit Charge is not a per-call charge and it is not based on assessed value of property. It is a fee that will apply only to the structural improvements on properties according to the property use and size of structure. There is no charge for undeveloped land. The FBC considers that those who benefit more from the fire protection services (e.g. large structures and structures used in a manner that pose higher fire risk) should pay more for that service.
In 1989, and every six years thereafter, the voters of Kenmore and Lake Forest Park have authorized the use of the Fire Benefit Charge as one of the sources used to finance Fire District operations and services. More information about the Fire Benefit Charge can be obtained from the links below.