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One thought on “SK Fire Chief Speculates on Tax Implications of Regional Fire Authority

  1. I don’t believe you correctly understand the fire district regular levy, since you say: “To clarify: the district ran and passed a temporary fire levy in 2006 for the maximum time of six years. The regular fire levy is permanent, and the district has both. The total levy rate for both is 98 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.”

    There is only one “regular” fire district levy. It is permanent, and has a “lid” that controls the annual increases that the fire district commissioners can impose on their own. (I don’t really know what to call the EMS levy, since it has attributes of a “regular” levy and of an “excess” levy. I suppose calling it a “special” levy like you did is the best way to label it.)

    The voters can approve a “lid lift” to allow a bigger annual increase, which is what they did in 2006.

    The lid lift can be either permanent or temporary — and in this case it was temporary.

    The effect of a voter-approved temporary lid lift is one levy that has two “lids” — the temporary lid that results from the voters’ approval, and the permanent lid which is still being calculated by the assessor, since that is what the levy amount will go back down to after 6 years (unless the voters approve another lift to keep it from falling back).

    Maybe it is the existence of two lids that leads you to think of it as two levies. One of those lids — the permanent lid — is “running in the background” like a computer program that you don’t notice as you use your computer, while the temporary lid is actually controlling the annual levy increases.

    If a temporary lid lift ballot measure specifically states the purpose for the additional funding, you would probably see the regular levy amount and the additional levy amount displayed separately by the assessor — like the county’s lid lift for the CENCOM building a few years ago. In that specific case, they look like two levies, since one part of the total levy authority is “earmarked” by the voters’ approval of the ballot measure.

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