EMS levy renewal

EMS Levy renewal resolution

The Board of Fire Commissioners for Kitsap County Fire District #18 voted unanimously to place an EMS levy renewal on the August 6th Primary Election ballot. If the voters approve the EMS levy renewal, it would allow the fire district to restore its regular property tax levy rate to $.50 per $1,000 assessed value, as previously approved by voters in 2019.

See Resolution 24-05 Here

press release

Click here to read the recent press release.


Please see below 


Why doesn’t the City and/or County focus more of their funding on emergency services?

The fire district receives no regular or ongoing financial support from the City of Poulsbo or Kitsap County.  The Poulsbo Fire Department, officially Kitsap County Fire District #18, is a special purpose district established under RCW 52.02 and is a completely separate entity from Kitsap County and the City of Poulsbo.  The fire district is governed by an elected board of commissioners and primarily funded through the Fire and EMS Levies, of which all of the revenue is committed to the operation of the fire department. 

How much will my property taxes increase if the EMS Levy Renewal is approved?

The impact of restoring the EMS levy rate for taxpayers for 2025 will be an increase of $13.00 per $100,000 of assessed value, or a total of $64.46 for the average home in Poulsbo (based on Kitsap Assessors 2023 average home sale price in 98370).  The effects on individual property owners vary based on changes to their property’s assessed value in relation to the assessed value of the entire fire district.


What is the difference between the fire levy and the ems levy?

Fire Districts in Washington State are primarily funded by two regular property tax levies;  The Fire Levy is set at a maximum of $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value, and the EMS Levy is capped at $.50 per $1,000 of assessed value.   Together, these levies provide a majority of the Poulsbo Fire Department’s funding to support emergency response and prevention services.  The department receives additional revenue from fees for service, specifically EMS transport fees and temporary grants from federal, state, and local programs.   

The Fire Levy is a permanent levy that the taxpayers approved at the rate of $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value in 1987.  The Fire Levy is a permanent levy that does not expire, however since 2001 all revenue from property taxes in Washington State have been subject to 1% annual increase.  An alternative revenue limit may be used for permanent levies when specifically approved by the voters.  When property values increase at a higher rate than 1%, or the alternative limit, the property tax levies rates are reduced to meet the 1% revenue increase limit.  A voter-approved lid-lift can only restore the levy rate to the previously approved limit. The Fire Levy for the Poulsbo Fire was restored to the $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value through a lid-lift measure in 2022.  With the voters approving an alternative revenue limit, basing the limit on the consumer price index capped up to 3%, the rate for 2024 remains at $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value.  The Fire Levy is responsible for 70% of the department’s revenue and is the primary funding source for ongoing operations, prevention, and support to maintain service levels. 

The EMS Levy is a temporary six-year levy initially approved at $.50 per $1,000 of assessed value in 1982.  As a temporary six-year levy, the EMS Levy will expire unless regularly renewed by the voters.  The EMS Levy was last renewed by the voters in 2019, with renewal also restoring the EMS Levy back to the rate of $.50 per $1,000 of assessed value.  The EMS Levy is subject to the 1% revenue increase limitation, which has caused the rate to fall to the current level of $.37 per $1,000 of assessed value.  The EMS Levy is responsible for 23% of the department’s revenue and provides funding dedicated to the delivery of Emergency Medical Services which includes personnel costs, training, and equipment.