Washougal officials put EMS levy on Tuesday ballot

Measure would impose property tax to fund emergency services

By Adam Littman, Columbian Staff Writer

Published:

 

Washougal officials will turn to the public again for help funding emergency medical services.

City councilors put the emergency medical services levy up for a public vote to replace the expired levy, which cost 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

The measure up for vote Tuesday would impose regular property tax levies of 50 cents of less per $1,000 of assessed valuation for 2018-2023.

The levy gives the city a stable, dedicated funding source to help pay for the emergency medical services. Levy funds can only be used for providing emergency medical services.

The levy provides funding for dual-function paramedic/firefighters and local ambulance transport service, and will allow for a paramedic ambulance to remain stationed in Washougal.

The money can also go toward replacing ambulances and equipment; offsetting rising fuel costs; continuing mandated training; continuing community CPR and first aid training; and providing training and support to firefighters and first responders.

To pass, the levy requires a supermajority, meaning it must receive 60 percent of votes to be in favor and a turnout of 40 percent of voters voting in the last general election.

For Washougal, this means the levy must receive a minimum of 1,770 “Yes” votes to pass, according to Cathie Garber, county elections supervisor.