North Whatcom Fire and Rescue (NWFR) will have its levy lid lift back on the ballot in the general election November 2 after failing in the primary election in August.
If the lift lid passes, NWFR will collect property taxes in 2022 at a levy rate of $1.45 per $1,000 of assessed value. NWFR will use the tax increase to maintain current service levels and add four battalion chiefs and four firefighters to the ranks. It will also replace fire engines, a ladder truck and water tenders, fire chief Jason Van der Veen said.
The levy is the primary funding source for fire and emergency medical services provided by NWFR. “It’s not a new tax, it’s a lifting of an old one so we can make ends meet,” Van der Veen said.
A levy lid lift authorizes tax collections to increase by more than the one percent “lid” that Washington initiative 747 limits property tax collections.