How the levy would help EMS l Fire Sirens

By Mukilteo Fire Chief Chris Alexander | Jul 25, 2018

You probably have already received your Aug. 7 Primary Election ballot. The city encourages you to return your ballots (no stamp needed this time!) by Aug. 7.

On that ballot, you will find a proposition that would return the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Levy to $0.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value.  Over time, the EMS levy rate falls as property values rise.

This “lid lift” returns the levy to the previously authorized amount. The proposal on the ballot would cost the owner of a $492,400 home (the median assessed home value in Mukilteo) $4.51 per month.

Call volumes have continued to increase (37 percent since the last EMS Levy authorization in 2010).

Revenue received by the city is not keeping up with inflation or daily expenses.  More calls mean added costs for things like equipment, fuel, and utilities, as well as apparatus and facilities maintenance.

The increased levy funding would cover these expenses.

Revenues also will go toward prevention outreach, focusing on preventing medical emergencies before they happen.

EMS accounts for 71 percent of the department’s emergency calls. This preventative approach helps stem the growth in call volume and could lower the medical care bills for patients who might not require hospitalization.

Mukilteo Fire operates within the city’s balanced budget and has no debt. When capital purchases are needed, such as ambulances and medical equipment, cash is used rather than loans.

The department has three sources of revenue to pay expenses. These include property tax and EMS levy revenue as well as billing for ambulance transportation, which is most commonly paid by medical insurance coverage.

If the levy and ambulance billing are insufficient to pay for EMS expenses, funding must be provided from the general property tax.  This reduces the monies available to fund other city services like police and public works.

#Mukilteo Fire provides fire, EMS, and life safety services to the 21,000 people in Mukilteo.  In 2017, the 24 career emergency personnel staffing 2 stations responded to 2,747 fire, medical and assistance calls.  This is a 12 percent increase from 2016.  More information about the department can be found at www.mukilteowa.gov/fire.#

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