Washougal officials put EMS levy on Tuesday ballot

Measure would impose property tax to fund emergency services

By Adam Littman, Columbian Staff Writer



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.