Fire Levy Lid Lift

What we do

We provide fire and life safety services to 74,800 residents over 115 square miles. Last year, our emergency personnel responded to 11,384 calls – 68 percent were for emergency medical service (EMS).

Our firefighters and paramedics are highly trained to provide the following services:

  • Fire suppression and prevention
  • Emergency medical services
  • Technical rescue
  • Hazardous material spills
  • Vehicle accidents and extrication
  • Fire and life safety education programs

We operate under a balanced budget, maintain adequate emergency reserves, and have passed all financial and accountability audits by the state. These strong financial practices have earned us an AA+ rating (one of the highest possible) from Standard and Poor’s, a leading credit rate agency.

How we are funded

A fire levy of $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value funds daily operations, such as emergency personnel, supplies, equipment, and apparatus. Emergency medical service (EMS) is funded by a separate levy of $0.50 per $1,000. Levy rates fall as property values rise.

For example, voters approved a fire levy rate of $1.50 per $1,000 in 2019. Since that time, the fire levy rate has fallen to $1.34. This is called “levy compression” and impacts our ability to respond to higher call volumes.

What is a fire levy lid lift?

At times, we must ask voters to reset our fire levy to $1.50 per $1,000, an amount previously approved by voters. This is known as a “levy lid lift,” and helps us keep up with higher call volumes and costs to provide service.

Call volumes have increased by 39 percent in the past six years. Last year, we responded to 11,384 calls – of which 68 percent were EMS-related. Our community requires additional firefighters and paramedics to maintain the level and quality of emergency services. Emergency apparatus also needs to be replaced to ensure reliability when responding to calls.

Levy lid lift will reduce response times and improve service

We are considering asking voters for a $0.16 lid lift sometime in 2024 to restore the fire levy to the previously approved rate of $1.50 per $,1000. Revenue from the lid lift will fund the following projects:

  • Up to six firefighters over the next six years. This will allow us to staff two additional stations (Lake Symington and Olympic View) 24 hours a day and reduce response times districtwide.
  • Replace an ambulance that has reached the end of its usable life
  • Refurbish up to three engines, saving taxpayers up to $2 million as opposed to buying new ones
  • Improve firefighter and paramedic training programs
  • Fund our CARES program to reduce non-emergency calls to 911 and improve service for taxpayers

What will this cost me?**

The owner of a home with an assessed value of $500,000 would pay an additional $6.67 per month or $80 per year.

Fire Chief Jason Christian welcomes your questions at and 360-447-3566.

*CARES is a program that helps us assist community members with issues before they become emergencies. The program works to improve the quality of health throughout our community and provides for a longer, healthier independent lifestyle.

** Homeowners who are 61 years or older and others who meet income and eligibility requirements may qualify for a property tax exemption. Contact the Kitsap County Assessor at 360-337-7160 or online at to see if you qualify.

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