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Black and white photo of Engine 22

Fire Levy Lid Lift

North Whidbey Fire and Rescue is independent of, and receives no funding from, the City of Oak Harbor or Island County. Our primary source of revenue for emergency operations is a Fire Levy paid by homeowners through their property taxes. NWFR is proud to be debt free, operates under a balanced budget, and has passes all its independent audits by the state.

State law limits the fire district to a one percent revenue increase per year. That's why we stretch tax dollars further by applying for grants, aggressively maintaining emergency apparatus and equipment, and relying on volunteers to respond to calls. When needed, we ask our community to fund specific items that are needed to save lives and property.

It's time to replace some emergency apparatus and equipment.

Call volumes have increased an average of more than four percent a year (or 45 percent over 10 years). More calls mean added wear and tear on emergency apparatus and equipment. Two fire engines are at the end of their usable lives, and at risk of being unreliable to respond to calls. Likewise, we need to replace emergency radios and Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus for the safety of our community and firefighters. 

North Whidbey Fire and Rescue asked voters to consider a Fire Levy lid lift of 15 cents/$1,000 of assessed property value during the November 3, 2020 General Election. The Fire Levy lid lift will enable NWFR to pay cash for these items instead of financing them which would cost taxpayers more due to interest payments. The additional cost for the owner of a $370,000 home (an average for our area) will be approximately $4.63 per month ($55.50 per year). 

Here's a chart based on different property values in our district:

Property Assessed Value
Monthly Cost
Annual Cost

Replacing these items also will maintain our community insurance rating, which is link to the amount some home and business owners pay in premiums.

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