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Published on Friday, April 7, 2017

Multiple fire district bills continuing to progress in the Legislature

SB 5628 would create a mechanism for a city to establish a fire protection district with boundaries that equal the city’s boundaries. The bill would make the city council the de facto fire commissioners unless otherwise delegated. To establish the district a city would: (1) adopt a resolution establishing the district; (2) create a financing plan; (3) hold a public hearing; and (4) the resolution must be approved by either a simple majority or, if a benefit charge is proposed, 60 percent of voters.

SB 5364 would change a number of RCWs related to fire districts. The bill would make many changes: modify the definition of fire protection districts to include regional fire protection service authorities, modify voter approval requirements to benefit charges, exempt certain properties from benefit charges (such as property owned by a public housing authority or by a nonprofit providing housing for individuals with developmental disabilities), allow unused levy capacity banking, and create a protection against levy pro-rationing.