‘While the outcome was not as we hoped, we appreciate everyone who took the time to vote’
East County Fire and Rescue wants to thank voters for participating in the recent fire levy lid lift election. While the outcome was not as we hoped, we appreciate everyone who took the time to vote.
East County Fire and Rescue serves the unincorporated areas of Camas, Washougal and east Vancouver. We have heard from citizens that the levy failed for two reasons. First, property taxes had increased significantly as a result of the McCleary decision to fund education. These increases are temporary and we may revisit the fire levy lid lift again when taxes have abated.
Second, we heard that the ballot language was confusing. We had asked voters to return the fire levy to $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value. The ballot language as written would have maintained the fire levy at or near that rate for the next six years. By state law, the fire levy cannot go above $1.50/$1,000.
We have learned some valuable lessons in the past election and appreciate your feedback. We will revisit the fire levy lid lift with these changes in mind. In the meantime, we will continue to provide the best service possible within budget.
Mike Carnes, deputy chief
East County Fire and Rescue
Mike Taggart, chair
Board of Fire Commissioners