In June, the King County Council passed an ordinance placing a six-year, 33.5 cent Medic One/EMS levy before the voters on this November’s ballot. This 33.5 cent levy rate supports Medic One’s 2014-2019 Strategic Plan, and is estimated to provide approximately $696 million in services over the next six years.
When the Mercer Island Fire Department EMT crews encounter the most serious medical emergencies, Medic One is dispatched to provide advanced care. Launched in 1970 in Seattle, approximately 1 in 10 King County residents have now used the Medic One/EMS system, and it delivers the country’s highest cardiac arrest survival rate of 57 percent.
The Medic One/EMS system is funded with a six-year EMS levy. The current levy rate of $0.30 per $1,000 of Assessed Value (AV) was approved by voters of King County in November 2007 and began collection in January 2008. This 30 cent levy rate means that a family of a $400,000 home pays $120 a year for Medic One services.
The current EMS levy expires on Dec. 31, 2013. A reauthorization of the EMS levy is necessary to provide a seamless transition into the new levy period. Under state law, the levy can be reauthorized for six years, 10 years, or for an indefinite amount of time, at a maximum rate of $0.50 per $1,000 AV. Historically, King County has never exceeded $0.30 per $1,000 AV, and the average length of each levy has been six years.
If approved, this property tax levy will cost the average homeowner about $107 a year; the expiring levy has cost about $110 per year.
For more information about the levy reauthorization, go to www.kingcounty.gov.