What is a fire benefit charge?

A fire benefit charge funds emergency services based on the size and use of a building. It takes into consideration that those who benefit more from fire protection services (such as high fire-risk structures, such as a large commercial building) should pay more for service than smaller ones (such as single-family homes). This charge would appear on your property tax statement and be paid along with your county property taxes. Seniors, disabled persons, exempt properties, and low-income households maintain any current exemptions they have through the county. A benefit charge is voter-approved every six years, and the rate is set annually in a public hearing. Property owners can appeal their assessment.

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1. What’s the issue for Mountlake Terrace property owners?
2. How do we currently receive emergency services?
3. What has the city done in response?
4. What does annexation to South County Fire mean?
5. Why did the City pick South County Fire?
6. What happens to the Mountlake Terrace fire station?
7. How will this impact service when I call 911?
8. Will firefighters lose their jobs?
9. Where is South County Fire located?
10. When is the election?
11. What happens if annexation is not approved?
12. What does the City currently pay for fire/EMS?
13. How will the City help reduce impacts to property owners?
14. What will I pay if annexation is approved?
15. How does SCF fund emergency services?
16. What is a fire benefit charge?
17. Why have other communities supported a fire benefit charge?
18. What communities/fire service providers in our area have a fire benefit charge?