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Brochure misleading | Letter

San Juan Island Fire & Rescue sent out a brochure mailer to SJ islanders with misleading information under “Service vs. Funding Compression.”

They state, “SJIF&R’s levy has slowly decreased over time because there has been no request to increase the levy amount.” That statement is completely false. In 1991, the district’s ‘property tax levy’ amount was $409,635 but has increased over 30 years to $1,461,434 in 2021, an increase of 356.76%. In addition to their current tax levy, the town pays the district approximately $400,000 annually for fire service.

SJIF&R goes on to state, “Fire District #3 levy has decreased to $0.44.” The approximate 44 cents is not a ‘levy,’ but is the tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value. The tax rate is applied to all the taxable property in the Fire District to generate the District’s property tax revenue. The tax rate may increase or decrease due to the rising or falling of the assessed value of the district due to the influence of the real estate market.

In general, the district’s property tax levy amount has increased significantly over 30 years to the maximum allowed by law.

It would be advisable for the SJIF&R to check their facts before sending out information to the citizens of SJI.

Paul Dossett

San Juan Island