May 30, 2024 6:38 am

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Mukilteo EMS Levy heads to voters for the August Primary election

MUKILTEO—The Mukilteo City Council passed a resolution at its Business Meeting on April 15 placing an emergency medical services (EMS) levy renewal on the August primary election ballot. The purpose of the ballot proposition is to restore funding for EMS to the previously voter-approved amount of $0.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value.

Mukilteo City Council meeting on April 15, 2024. Lynnwood Times | Mario Lotmore.

“EMS is our most widely used service – and our call volumes are increasing. We need to add six firefighters/EMTs to respond to calls and reduce response times,” Fire Chief Glen Albright said. “We must also maintain consistent funding for equipment replacement and ambulances so we can ensure service reliability when responding to calls.”

The current EMS Levy Rate is $0.27529739895 per $1,000 assessed valuation and will provide the City with a revenue of $2,039,955 in 2024. The proposed $0.50 per $1,000 is projected to provide the City $3,705,003 based on the current Mukilteo home assessed valuation. The EMS funds may only be used for EMS related expenses.

Chief Albright shared in his presentation to council that the average home tax increase will be just under 52 cents per day or $189 for 2025. The average home value in Mukilteo is $839,000.

Mukilteo EMS Levy
SOURCE: Mukilteo Fire Chief Glen Albright presentation to council on April 15, 2024.

Approximately $1.320 million of the $1.665 million increase will be used for a Medical Services Officer, two additional firefighters, paramedic training, equipment, and maintenance.

Mukilteo EMS Levy
SOURCE: Mukilteo Fire Chief Glen Albright presentation to council on April 15, 2024.

On September 14, 2004, Mukilteo voters approved an EMS Levy of up to $0.35 per $1,000 assessed valuation for six years. On August 17, 2010, the voters approved making it permanent at a rate not to exceed $0.50 per $1,000 assessed valuation. On August 7, 2018, the voters rejected a measure that would have set the rate at $0.50 per $1,000 for six consecutive years, with the limit factor for each ensuing year not to exceed 106% of the previous year.

On August 1, 2023, the voters rejected a EMS Levy measure that would have set the rate at $0.40 per $1,000 for six consecutive years. With the passage of time, the rate has been gradually reduced to approximately $0.27 per $1,000 assessed valuation. The fire chief shared that if voters approve the ballot measure, the burden from the City’s General Fund would reduce from $449,047 in 2025 to $47,901.

The EMS Levy renewal was previously presented to the City Council at their March 25, 2024, work session. At that meeting a consensus was for placing a ballot measure before the voters that would seek to raise the levy rate to $0.50 per $1,000.00 of assessed for 2025.

The motion to approve placing the EMS Levy renewal on the ballot passed 6-1 with Council Steve Schmalz dissenting.

“I am very pleased to see the City Council place the EMS levy renewal on the August ballot,” Mukilteo Mayor Joe Marine said. “Costs for our fire department continue to rise, while our EMS levy rate continues to decrease year after year.”

The council also approved with a vote of 6-1, with Council Steve Schmalz dissenting, to authorize Mayor Joe marine to sign Consultant Agreement with Liz Loomis Public Affairs in the amount of $45,000 to provide strategic communication services to city staff. The consultant will create a communications plan and messaging for the EMS Levy renewal.

With a unanimous vote, the council approved Richard Emery, Dave Dundon-Harris, and Michael Dixon to serve on the pro committee and Kevin Stoltz, Steve Schmalz, and Sabrina Otness to serve on the con committee for the EMS Levy renewal ballot measure.

OTHER CITY BUSINESS

The Finance Director is seeking approval to reconvene the Long-Range Financial Planning (LRFP) Committee and approval of the make-up of the members of the LFRP Committee in order to proceed with the next steps. The motion proposed by Council Vice President Tom Jordal and seconded by Councilman Richard Emery, was approved unanimously.

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