You probably have received your ballot for several proposals to vote on this May. One of those is for the renewal and increase of the Fire Levy tax that is part of your annual property tax. The ballot has arguments for and against. One thing to remember: If the proposed Fire Levy doesn’t pass during this voting cycle, the city has stated another Fire/ EMS voter approved levy will be necessary to maintain future service & operations. The current Fire Levy expires in the summer of 2024.
There are a few positions against of the levy and many that support it. Following are a few links with information to help you make your decision:
Deschutes County Tax Info (to calculate your current and future fire levy tax)
Put in your address, assessed value of your property is in the lower right corner. Multiply 0.76 times the thousands. Example:
$210,306: Assessed Value
$0.20 x 210 = $42 (current annual fire levy tax bill)
$0.76 x 210 = $159 (new proposed annual fire levy tax bill)
Information From City Manager Eric King
Bend Fire & Rescue April Accountability Report
Please find the department’s Monthly Accountability Review through March 2023. These reports highlight response times, staffing, resources and budget for the department. Bend Fire’s Monthly Accountability Review is included in the City Manager’s memo to Council once a month. And, if you want to find historical memos to Council, they are found at: City Manager’s Report to Council | City of Bend (bendoregon.gov)
Bend Fire & Rescue Financial Model
You will also find attached the financial model for the department, which shows the revenue and expense projections through the proposed levy period, which would end June 2029.
Bend Fire & Rescue Strategic Plan (Standards of Response Cover)
Here is the current strategic plan (Standards of Response Cover) for the department. This plan is expected to be updated in the next two years. Council is currently reviewing a citywide budget that will be adopted by June 30, which includes resources for the department to update this plan.
Fire Levy Information Dashboard
Another helpful resources that has a number of statistics about the department is the Fire Levy Dashboard at bendoregon.gov/fire-levy, which provides additional information on the financial needs of the department and challenges we are facing or anticipating.
Intergovernmental Agreement with Deschutes Rural Fire Protection District #2
Finally, you’ll see in this attached agreement with the Rural Fire District an explanation of funding committed through 2029, which includes our contribution of $1.18 per $1,000 tax assessed property value through June 2029.