HB 2474

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

As of February 23, 2012

Title: An act relating to adjusting voting requirements for the renewal of emergency medical service levies.

Brief Description: Adjusting voting requirements for the renewal of emergency medical service levies.

Sponsors: Representatives Springer, Van De Wege and Fitzgibbon.

Brief History: Passed House: 2/11/12, 70-25.

Committee Activity: Ways & Means: 2/20/12.


Staff: Dean Carlson (786-7305)

Background: An emergency medical service (EMS) levy is a regular voter-approved property tax levy which is used to provide emergency medical care or emergency medical services. An EMS levy may be authorized for six years, ten years, or permanently. An EMS levy must be approved by 60 percent of registered voters when the voter turnout exceeds 40 percent of voter turnout at the last general election. When the voter turnout is less than 40 percent of voter turnout at the last general election, the yes votes must exceed 24 percent of the total number of votes in the last general election. If approved, a taxing district may impose a regular property tax levy in an amount that cannot exceed $0.50 per $1,000.00 of assessed value of the property of the taxing district.

Summary of Bill: The uninterrupted continuation of a six-year or ten-year EMS levy must be authorized by a majority of registered voters at a general or special election.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Committee/Commission/Task Force Created: No.

Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony: PRO: This allows EMS levy renewals to pass with a 50 percent vote rather than a 60 percent votes. Over 80 percent of fire related calls are EMS calls. This is a fire service priority issue. It disheartening to see a levy fail when it gets a 57 percent positive vote and it hurts the bottom line.

Persons Testifying: PRO: Representative Springer, prime sponsor; Dylan Doty, WA Fire Chiefs, WA Fire Commissioners; Bud Sizemore, WA State Council of Fire Fighters.