Town Adds Fire Annexation To April Ballot

Posted February 7, 2021 at 5:30 am by

From the Town of Fri­day Harbor

On Feb. 4, the Fri­day Har­bor Town Coun­cil adopt­ed an ordi­nance send­ing the propo­si­tion of town annex­a­tion into San Juan Island Fire Dis­trict 3 to its vot­ers on April 27.

Cur­rent­ly, all prop­er­ties on San Juan Island are part of Dis­trict 3 with the excep­tion of those in town.

The effect of annex­a­tion will be that own­ers of real prop­er­ty in town will pay the same rate as oth­er prop­er­ty own­ers on San Juan Island for their fire services.

The pur­pos­es for ini­ti­at­ing the propo­si­tion on annex­a­tion include: (1) elim­i­na­tion of an annu­al oblig­a­tion of approx­i­mate­ly $300,000 paid from the Town’s gen­er­al fund, (2) uni­fi­ca­tion of tax­ing sources to aid future merg­er oppor­tu­ni­ties regard­ing emer­gency ser­vices, (3) exten­sion of vot­ing rights to town res­i­dents in the man­age­ment of their fire ser­vices, and (4) ful­fill­ment of the Town’s oblig­a­tion to the Fire Dis­trict to seek annex­a­tion made in the orig­i­nal con­tract for ser­vices with the District.

If the annex­a­tion propo­si­tion is approved by vot­ers in the town and in Fire Dis­trict 3, it will cre­ate a new real prop­er­ty tax assess­ment for parcels with­in the town. The approx­i­mate assess­ment would be 44.5 cents per thou­sand dol­lars of val­u­a­tion. This would result in an annu­al increase of prop­er­ty tax on a home assessed at $350,000 of approx­i­mate­ly $156. With­out annex­a­tion, the Town would need to nego­ti­ate a new con­tract with the Dis­trict as the cur­rent con­tract expires at the end of 2021.

To phase in the impact on town prop­er­ty own­ers, the coun­cil has com­mit­ted to reduc­ing its gen­er­al prop­er­ty tax levy by $200,000 in the first year after annex­a­tion (2022) and by $100,000 in the sec­ond year (2023). There­after, the full prop­er­ty tax levy for the town would be assessed.

In addi­tion to the two-year levy reduc­tion, the coun­cil has vot­ed to trans­fer all cost sav­ings achieved to one or more of the Fri­day Har­bor Cap­i­tal Funds main­tained for the pur­pose of build­ing infra­struc­ture with­in the town. This oblig­a­tion would run for a peri­od of five years after annex­a­tion. This is to assure tax­pay­ers that any sav­ings achieved from annex­a­tion would be rein­vest­ed back into infra­struc­ture to ben­e­fit the community.

For more infor­ma­tion, con­tact Fri­day Har­bor Town Admin­is­tra­tor Dun­can Wil­son at duncanw@fridayharbor.org or at 360–378-2810.

You can support the San Juan Update by doing business with our loyal advertisers, and by making a one-time contribution or a recurring donation.


Categories: Government

No comments yet. Be the first!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By submitting a comment you grant the San Juan Update a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate, irrelevant and contentious comments may not be published at an admin's discretion. Your email is used for verification purposes only, it will never be shared.

Receive new post updates: Entries (RSS)
Receive followup comments updates: RSS 2.0