Fire District 4 voters should wait to lift levy lid

Regarding the Aug. 1 election issue by Fire District 4 seeking a levy lid lift:

Normally, local taxing districts’ budgets are subjected to an annual 1 percent budget increase cap (lid) without voter approval. District 4 voters in 2017 generously approved raising that 1 percent lid to a 6 percent lid. The fire levy amount steadily grew each year from $5.7 million in 2017 to $9.4 million in 2023, almost doubling.

Now, the district wants voters to approve another permanent annual 6 percent increase. What would that mean to a typical Snohomish homeowner or renter? Here’s the impact according to Linda Redmon, Sam Low and John Lovick as they wrote in the Voters Pamphlet due to be mailed July 12: For a dwelling unit valued at $500,000 in 2023, a property tax hike of $180 in 2024 and with 6 percent annual compounding, the tax increases to $241 in 2028. For a home valued at $1 million, the tax increases to $360 in 2024 and $482 in 2028.

Inexplicably, Redmon, Low and Lovick wrote in the Voters Pamphlet that the district fire levy amount had fallen between 2017 to 2023. Voters, don’t be bamboozled by that deception. The fire levy almost doubled in that period. (Source: Snohomish County Assessor’s Office link:

Additionally, there are discussions about the district merging with a neighboring fire district; ostensibly to reduce operational expenses and costs in overhead, facilities, and equipment.

Therefore, it is premature this year for district voters to approve a 6 percent permanent annual tax increases and to commit to a land deal on Pine Avenue with the City of Snohomish, given so few details for the public.

Haste makes waste. There are too many unknowns at this point for the voters to make an informed decision in the Aug. 1 election.

Morgan Davis


Talk to us

More in Opinion

Editorial cartoons for Friday, Sept. 22

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

Flowers bloom on the end of a dead tree on Spencer Island on Monday, Aug. 28, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Editorial: Restore salmon habitat but provide view of its work

Comments are sought on a plan to restore fish habitat to the island east of Everett with popular trails.

Schwab: GOP ‘projection’ is slideshow of hypocrisy, deflection

Trump, of course, is guilty, but so are House Republicans desperate to ferret out elusive dirt on Joe Biden.

Arlington Mayor Tolbert has helped her region rebuild, grow

Arlington Mayor Barb Tolbert has implemented the best programs to help people… Continue reading

Johnson’s endorsements reason enough to earn vote for sheriff

Another week. Another death at the Snohomish County jail (“Man, 38, identified… Continue reading

Resumption of expanded child tax credit can fight poverty

The U.S. Census Bureau has released poverty data for 2022 and the… Continue reading

Comment: Musk is his CEO’s X-factor (and not in a good way)

Musk is the widely variable variable for the X chief executive who can’t make headway on advertising.

FILE - Six-year-old Eric Aviles receives the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine from pharmacist Sylvia Uong at a pediatric vaccine clinic for children ages 5 to 11 set up at Willard Intermediate School in Santa Ana, Calif., Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021. In a statement Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021, California's public health officer, Dr. Tomas J. Aragon, said that officials are monitoring the Omicron variant. There are no reports to date of the variant in California, the statement said. Aragon said the state was focusing on ensuring its residents have access to vaccines and booster shots. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
Editorial: A plea for watchful calm this time regarding covid

We don’t need a repeat of uncontrolled infections or of the divisions over vaccines and masks.

A construction worker caulks the siding on a townhouse at The Towns at Riverfront housing development in Everett on October 25, 2017. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Editorial: How do we put housing within reach of everyone?

A Herald Forum panel discussion considered the challenges and solutions for affordable housing.

Most Read