How We’re Funded
Accountable and transparent to its taxpayers…
Benton County Fire District 4 operates under a balanced budget, maintains adequate reserve funds, and has passed multiple independent audits by the state. We have an active volunteer program, seek grants, and partner with neighboring agencies to stretch your tax dollars further. These strong financial practices earned our fire district one of the highest bond ratings possible by Standard and Poor’s.
We want our community involved in funding decisions about emergency services.
Daily emergency operations are funded by a fire levy ($1.50/$1,000) and an EMS levy ($0.50/$1,000) paid through property taxes. Over time, levy rates fall as property values rise to limit the Fire District to roughly the same amount of revenue per year (plus a 1% increase allowed by law and new construction).
Occasionally, we ask our community for a “lid lift” to return a levy to an amount previously approved by voters. Lid lifts help us keep up with increasing costs for service due to higher call volumes and inflation. For example, our EMS levy has fallen from the voter-approved rate in 2016 of $0.50 to $0.35/$1,000 today. EMS call volumes have increased 42% in the same time period, and inflation has averaged as high as 6.8%.
EMS accounts for 64% of our emergency calls.
We are asking our community to return the EMS levy rate to the previously-approved rate of $0.50/$1,000 during the August 2022 Primary Election. If approved, the $0.15/$1,000 lid lift would cost an additional $52.50 per year ($4.38 per month) for the owner of a home with an assessed value of $350,000. If approved by voters, funding from the levy would be used to hire three additional firefighter/paramedics or emergency medical technicians to respond to emergency calls. This will put another medical unit in service and aid in responding to multiple calls, which are increasing.
We are grateful for your support to help us save lives and property.