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2024 Levy Information

NMRFA Fire Levy Restoration Information

THE WHO: In March the North Mason Regional Fire Authority’s (NMRFA) Board of Fire Commissioners approved a resolution that authorizes the NMRFA to submit a request to its voters to restore the NMRFA’s fire levy to a rate of $1.11 per $1,000 of assessed property value.

THE WHAT: In 2009 the NMRFA voters authorized a fire levy rate of $1.49 per $1,000 of assessed property value to support the emergency operations of the NMRFA. Over the past 15 years the Fire Authority has been limited by state law to an increase of 1% per year to its fire levy collection. As property values have increased within the Fire Authority over the past 15 years the NMRFA’s fire levy rate has been reduced annually to its current rate of $0.81 per $1,000 of assessed property value (a 46% decrease since 2009). The annual reduction in fire levy rate is made to ensure that the fire levy’s collection does not increase by more than 1% per year in light of rising assessed property values. The Fire Authority is requesting voters to restore its Fire Levy back to a rate of $1.11 per year. A restoration of the Fire Levy would allow the Authority to add two additional firefighters, retain current personnel, and maintain operating levels that can meet the challenges of a 53% increase in the number of calls since 2009 and rising operating costs.

THE WHEN: The election for the fire levy cap restoration proposal will take place on Tuesday, August 6th, 2024. If approved by voters, the new fire levy will be implemented for collection in 2025. The fire levy restoration proposal would require 50% of the voters plus one or more votes to be approved.

THE WHY: A fire levy restoration would allow the NMRFA to add two firefighters to meet growth demand and help us to cover the rise in operating costs. Over the past 15 years the NMRFA’s fire levy has been limited to a 1% increase per year. In that same time, our emergency call volume has gone up 53% and operating costs such as fuel, insurance, labor and supplies have drastically risen over this same time period. In response, the Fire Authority has done everything possible to hold off a need to ask for voters to restore the fire Levy rate. We have worked to secure multiple alternative funding sources to include grants, revenue from timber sales, new Medicaid reimbursement, and others to maintain current operations despite the 1% increase limitation on the fire levy collection. But as the community continues to grow and the NMRFA sees operating costs rise, the Fire Authority is having difficulty sustaining operations and meeting the ever-increasing service demands. The fire levy rate, originally approved at a rate of $1.49 by voters has dropped to a rate of $0.81 per $1,000. The Fire Authority will always continue to pursue alternative funding sources, but we find ourselves needing to ask our voters for support. The Fire Authority is asking voters to support a restoration of the fire levy to $1.11 to meet service growth demands and continue operations.

THE HOW MUCH: The restoration of the Fire Levy would cost the owner of a $400,000 home would cost an additional $10 per month, the same price as a cup of coffee and a muffin.