PORT TOWNSEND — Voters served by the East Jefferson Fire District and the Brinnon Fire Department approved levy lid lifts for both fire and emergency medical services today.
A simple majority was needed for approval. All four measures passed with votes to spare and 90 ballots left to count after the first count of votes Tuesday night. More ballots may arrive at the county Auditor’s Office ins the next few days in the all-mail election. The next count will be by 4 p.m. today.
The combined general fire and emergency medical services (EMS) taxes in East Jefferson Fire Rescue (EJFR) will increase from $1.21 to $1.50 per $1,000 assessed property value and those in Brinnon Fire District will increase from $1.30 to $2 per assessed $1,000 property value.
Jefferson County will begin collecting those taxes in April for distribution in 2024.
The measures were the only ones on the Jefferson County ballot for the special election. Clallam County had no measures before voters this election.
Voter turnout was 41.81 percent, with 10,251 ballots returned out of 24,520 ballots provided registered voters.
In EJFR, a measure to increase a fire levy from 85 cents to $1.30 per $1,000 of property value, won by 69.37 percent, or 6,762 votes, to 30.63 percent, or 2,986 votes.
Owners of a property valued at $499,290 — the average in the district, according to the Jefferson County assessor’s office — will pay $649.08 in property tax for the levy.
The EJFR EMS levy rises from 36 cents to 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. It was approved by 74 percent, or 7,228 votes, and opposed by 26 percent, or 2,540 votes.
Owners of a property valued at $499,290 will pay $249.64 in property tax for the levy.
The Brinnon Fire Department fire levy will increase from 94 cents to $1.50 per $1,000 of property value. It was approved by 53.39 percent, or 240 votes, and opposed by 46.61 percent, or 213 votes.
Owners of a property valued at $331,935 — the average in the district, according to the Jefferson County assessor’s office, will pay $497.90 in property tax for the levy.
The Brinnon EMS levy will increase from 36 cents to 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. It was approved by 62.5 percent, or 285 votes, and opposed by 37.5 percent, or 171 votes.
Owners of a property valued at $331,935 will pay $165.97 in property tax for the levy.
East Jefferson Fire Rescue, which includes the former Port Ludlow Fire & Rescue, covers 123 square miles of incorporated and unincorporated Jefferson County and includes Port Townsend, Port Ludlow, Cape George, Chimacum, Irondale, Kala Point, Marrowstone Island and Port Hadlock.
The Brinnon Fire Department covers about 131 square miles in southern rural Jefferson County.