By Marianne Lincoln
Both Central Pierce Fire and Rescue #6 (CPFR) and Graham Fire and Rescue #21 (GFR) have replacement levies on the ballot this year during the Primary Election August 2. That means they keep the taxes at the same level as before and voters will choose to reauthorize them.
The EMS levy helps pay for the medical aid units that rush to traffic accidents or your home with medics. Both department still transport you to the hospital if needed, they say, without a charge to you.
These levies also help keep your homeowners insurance rates lower. When your fire service is funded and efficient, the insurance companies give them good ratings and those rating determine your homeowners and auto insurance rates.
The one difference is the Graham department, being much smaller, has more difficulty paying the $30,000 to $100,000 it can take to put a levy on the ballot. When the levy fails and the Commissioners decided to try again, it takes another chunk of money to do so.
Money is so much harder to come by for the smaller department. So this year, the Commissioners in Graham decided to ask voters to give this levy permanent status, to save the cost of reauthorizing it over every 4 to 6 years. This will help stabilize the funding so they don’t have to spend additional time and money hiring and terminating great personnel. That also means, they have to hit the 60% threshold for passage. So they really need their supporters to turn out.
Today GFR District #21 released this video for the public regarding the EMS levy.
Remember, ballots are due by August 2nd! You can mail them or drop them off at one of the Ballot Drop Boxes around Pierce County or use the link to find in-person voting centers.