Everett EMS Asking For Return To Previously Approved Levy Level

November 4, 2018

Everett Government

shooting 1 We’re highlighting a few races for folks living in Everett. Election Day is Tuesday and while you don’t have to put a stamp on your ballot you must still sign the envelope and make sure it is postmarked no later than the 6th. You can also put it in a drop box by 8 PM election night. In Everett there is a ballot drop box out front of the county courthouse at Wall and Rockefeller in downtown Everett and also in the parking lot between Sears and Famous Dave’s at the Everett Mall.

Proposition 3 on the ballot for all voters within the Everett City limits deals with a property tax levy to fund emergency medical services in Everett. Here is the ballot title along with for and against information from the WA Voter’s Guide:

The Everett City Council has adopted Ordinance No. 3608-18 concerning a property tax levy to maintain emergency medical services.

If approved, this proposition would maintain existing service levels for emergency medical care and services, including paramedic services, by authorizing an increase in Everett’s emergency medical services property tax levy capacity to the previously-authorized rate of fifty cents ($0.50) per one thousand ($1,000) assessed valuation in 2019, and to increase the levy each year thereafter as allowed by Chapter 84.55 RCW.

Should this proposition be:


Ballot title approved by the City Attorney’s Office (August 6, 2018).

Explanatory Statement

Proposition No. 3, if approved, would provide funding to maintain the existing service levels in the City of Everett for emergency medical care and services, including paramedic services. The levy rate of fifty cents ($0.50) per one thousand ($1,000) assessed property value was previously approved by Everett voters in 2010. Because of the one percent limit established by Chapter 84.55 RCW, in 2018 the City was only allowed to collect an approximate levy rate of 40.17 cents ($0.4017) per one thousand ($1,000) assessed valuation. If approved, this proposition would restore the levy rate of fifty cents ($0.50) per one thousand ($1,000) assessed property value in 2019, and increase the levy each year thereafter as allowed by Chapter 84.55 RCW.

Argument For

The City of Everett is requesting the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Levy for Everett Medic One be restored to 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. The emergency medical needs of our community keep growing, despite shrinking revenues. The EMS Levy significantly funds the cost of life-saving medical training, treatment and transport by the Everett Fire Department, for residents of Everett and those who work here. Last year, Everett Fire responded to 17,237 patients and transported 3,902 patients to the Emergency Room.

Since voters last approved the EMS Levy in 2010, Everett Fire’s call volume has increased by 26%, generating almost 24,000 calls per year, despite the decrease in funding. By state law, taxing districts are limited to an increase of 1% annually, except by voter approval. Because of this annual limit, the effective rate for the EMS Levy has dropped to 40 cents per $1,000.

87% of Everett Fire calls are medical in nature and its population continues to grow and age. Everett also caters to some of the most vulnerable citizens in our region that require social, mental and medical services.

In 2018, the projected EMS Levy deficit is more than $1 million. The requested 10 cent levy lid lift would restore funding to the EMS Levy back to the 2010 rates and help maintain the current level of service. Please support this lifesaving service. Vote yes on Proposition #3.

Argument Against

Voting “NO” to this levy increase would not take away or hinder the quality of emergency medical services. This proposed levy increase is strategically set to rise annually.

In 2017 the actual total revenue for emergency medical services was over $8.5 million, only $7.9 million is listed as actual total expenditures. Low-income families, small business owners and first-time home buyers will be the people hurt the most by this proposition if it passes. An estimated 17.6% of residence in the city are living in poverty. Low-income families in Everett currently struggle to keep up with the swelling demands of rent and mortgage payments. Small business owners are also fighting the weight of a competitive and growing economy and do not warrant any additional tax expenses to uphold. Since 2014 the city has collected over $40 million annually from levy taxes alone. With a projected population growth in the city and expected soaring property values, first-time home buyers are having difficulty finding housing at an affordable price. There is over $13 billion of assessed taxable property already contributing a great deal to our local government and a levy increase on this property would be very detrimental to new developments and property investments.

Voting “NO” for this levy will avoid an additional increase to the cost of living and will not impact the great services already provided by Everett’s emergency medical services.

About myeverettnews

My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring breaking news and events in Everett, WA. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett. It's written by Leland Dart a former Snohomish County based radio reporter born and raised in Everett.

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