Orting voters appeared to be approving a tax measure that would generate $825,000 for the fire district through 2017.
Orting Valley Fire & Rescue submitted the levy for Tuesday’s special election to restore the district’s funding to 2009 levels, after the economic downturn and declining property values led to a 30 percent reduction in the last five years.
Fire Chief Zane Gibson said passage of the levy would allow the district to maintain response times and ambulance services at no cost to residents. Failure would likely lead to private ambulance services, which would cost residents money and increase response times.
Early results Tuesday night showed the levy was 65 votes short of the 1,461 “yes” votes needed for passage of the measure. Results Wednesday showed the “yes” votes exceeded that number, with 1,570 votes favoring the levy.
Approval of the levy would authorize the fire district to collect $825,000 each year, for a total of about $3.3 million through 2017. The tax rate each year would range between 89 to 92 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value over the four-year period, and the rate would adjust each year as property values fluctuate.
To pass, the measure needs a 60 percent favorable margin, and Wednesday’s results showed 66 percent of voters supporting the measure. Ballots will continue to be counted. About 30 percent of ballots have been returned from registered Orting voters. The special election results will be certified May 7.
Kari Plog: 253-597-8682