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Monday, October 19, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Fire District 9 needs property tax levy renewed

Next week’s ballot includes a request from Spokane County Fire District 9 for voters to renew their maintenance and operations levy for another two years.

The levy, which is expected to raise about $7 million per year, provides 60 percent of the district’s annual budget, said Chris Hamp, division chief for administrative services. The other 40 percent comes from a different levy.

“Our revenue is solely from property taxes,” she said.

The request is not new, Hamp said. The M&O levy has been set at $1.79 per $1,000 in assessed home value for several years. This request will bump that up to $1.80 per $1,000 in assessed value for the next two years, she said.

“We’re trying very hard to keep that rate right there,” she said.

The district that stretches across the northern borders of Spokane and Spokane Valley has nine stations staffed by a mix of paid and volunteer firefighters. The M&O levy covers the paid staff and advanced life support services, including paramedics.

The levy requires 60 percent supermajority approval to pass. Hamp said failure of the levy would be devastating, resulting in the loss of staff and closure of fire stations.

But Hamp said the people she’s spoken to about the levy have been supportive and the district is hopeful that the levy will pass as it usually does. “We’ve done pretty well,” she said.

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