Bremerton Fire Department looks to renew EMS levy in upcoming election

Proposition would authorize regular property tax levy of $0.50 or less per $1,000 of assessed value

The City of Bremerton is looking to renew a levy to fund emergency medical services this upcoming election season.

The city currently has a six-year emergency medical services levy, but the levy rate has fallen from $0.50 per $1,000 of assessed value to $0.36 per $1,000 of assessed value.

The proposition would authorize a regular property tax levy of $0.50 or less per $1,000 of assessed value for levy beginning in 2019 through 2024 and to be collected in 2020 through 2025, the proposition states. If the proposition passes, the city will levy the tax to be collected in 2020 under this new proposition and not under the proposition approved in 2014.

“This is not a new levy, this is just a renewal of a current levy,” said Bremerton Fire Department’s interim fire chief, Patrick McGanney said. “The levy actually expires in 2020 so we’re actually running it a year early just to be safe.”

According to Resolution No. 3319 from the Bremerton City Council, it is deemed necessary to the public health, safety, and welfare that the City of Bremerton provides emergency medical care and emergency medical treatment to its citizens.

“The Fire Department of the City of Bremerton is in need of monetary funds for present and future funding to continue its emergency medical service,” the resolution reads.

According to the resolution, a property tax levy would perpetuate and enhance the Bremerton emergency medical services program by funding personnel costs, training and related equipment, supplies, and vehicle and structures needed for the provision of such care or services, not including the costs of transportation to and from medical treatment facilities.

If the levy passes, McGanney said the fire department “will be able to hire two firefighters and one paramedic.”

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