52.02.150  <<  52.02.160 >>   52.02.170

Petition alternative, resolutionAdoption requirementsPublic hearingVoter approvalGeneral fund reduction.

(1) As an alternative to the petition method of formation for fire protection districts provided in this chapter, the legislative authority of a city or town may by resolution, subject to the approval of the voters, establish a fire protection district with boundaries that are the same as the corporate boundaries of the city or town for the provision of fire prevention services, fire suppression services, and emergency medical services, and for the protection of life and property within the city or town.
(a) Any resolution adopted by a city or town under this section to establish a fire protection district must, at a minimum:
(i) Contain a financing plan for the fire protection district. As part of the financing plan, the city or town may propose the imposition of revenue sources authorized by this title for fire protection districts, such as property taxes, as provided in chapter 52.16 RCW, or benefit charges, as provided in chapter 52.18 RCW; and
(ii) Set a date for a public hearing on the resolution.
(b) The financing plan in the resolution adopted by the city or town must contain the following information regarding property taxes that will be imposed by the fire protection district and city or town subsequent to the formation of the district:
(i) The dollar amount the fire protection district will levy in the first year in which the fire protection district imposes any of the regular property taxes in RCW 52.16.130, 52.16.140, or 52.16.160;
(ii) The city's or town's highest lawful levy for the purposes of RCW 84.55.092, reduced by the fire protection district's levy amount from (b)(i) of this subsection. This reduced highest lawful levy becomes the city's or town's highest lawful levy since 1986 for subsequent levy limit calculations under chapter 84.55 RCW; and
(iii) The estimated aggregate net dollar amount impact on property owners within the city or town based on the changes described in (b)(i) and (ii) of this subsection (1).
(c) If a city or town proposes the initial imposition of a benefit charge as a revenue source for the fire protection district under (a) of this subsection, the resolution adopted by the city or town must comply with the requirements of RCW 52.18.030.
(d) Notice of public hearing on a resolution adopted by a city or town must be published for three consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the city or town, and must be posted for at least fifteen days prior to the date of the hearing in three public places within the boundaries of the proposed fire protection district. All notices must contain the time, date, and place of the public hearing.
(2)(a) A resolution adopted under this section is not effective unless approved by the voters of the city or town at a general election. The resolution must be approved:
(i) By a simple majority of the voters of the city or town; or
(ii) If the resolution proposes the initial imposition of a benefit charge, by sixty percent of the voters of the city or town.
(b) An election to approve or reject a resolution forming a fire protection district, including the proposed financial plan and any imposition of revenue sources for the fire protection district, must be conducted by the election officials of the county or counties in which the proposed district is located in accordance with the general election laws of the state. If a resolution forming a fire protection district provides that the fire protection district will be governed by a board of fire commissioners, as permitted under RCW 52.14.140, then the initial fire commissioners must be elected at the same election where the resolution is submitted to the voters authorizing the creation of the fire protection district. The election must be held at the next general election date, according to RCW 29A.04.321 and 29A.04.330, occurring after the date of the public hearing on the resolution adopted by the city or town legislative authority. The ballot title must include the information regarding property taxes that is required to be in the financing plan of the resolution under subsection (1)(b) of this section.
(c) If a ballot proposition on the resolution is approved by voters, as provided in (a) of this subsection, the county legislative authority shall by resolution declare the fire protection district organized under the name designated in the ballot proposition.
(d) Nothing contained in this chapter may be construed to alter a municipal airport fire department or affect any powers authorized under RCW 14.08.120(2). If a question arises as to whether this chapter modifies the affairs of municipal airports in any way, the answer is no.
(3) A city or town must reduce its general fund regular property tax levy by the total combined levy of the fire protection district as proposed by the district in accordance with subsection (1)(b)(i) of this section. The reduced levy amount of the city or town must occur in the first year in which the fire protection district imposes any of the property taxes in RCW 52.16.130, 52.16.140, or 52.16.160 and must be specified in the financing plan and ballot proposition as provided in this section. If the fire protection district does not impose all three levies under RCW 52.16.130, 52.16.140, and 52.16.160 when it begins operations, the city must further reduce its general fund regular property tax levy if the district initially imposes any of the levies in subsequent years, by the amount of such levy or levies initially imposed in a subsequent year.
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