According to state law, East Jefferson Fire Rescue is a junior taxing district. The maximum it can charge for emergency medical services is 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value and $1.50 per $1,000 for fire service.
Voting for annexation is voting for an increase of 78 cents per $1,000. The city also would retain its current property tax. The total cost to homeowners by 2023 would be $1.33 per $1,000, meaning a $399 per-year increase on a home assessed to be worth $300,000.
If you couple the McCleary decision, adding $1 per $1,000, city utility taxes at 22 percent, water, sewer, storm rates at an all-time high, and the new elementary school tax, who can afford to live, rent or buy in Port Townsend?
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office asked for a sales tax increase a few years back. Because Port Townsend was the only city in the county, the city was rewarded 40 percent of that sales tax money.
The city contract with EJFR runs until 2027, with renewal in the final year of the contract. So what’s the rush on this vote? Sounds as if the city coffers are more important than its citizens.
Now is the time to stand up to new taxes. Vote no on fire annexation.