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Benton County Fire District 4 is accountable and transparent to its taxpayers.

The fire district operates under a balanced budget, maintains adequate reserve funds, and has passed all independent audits by the state. Our fire commissioners are elected by the community, and all board meetings are open to the public. 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 you to know how emergency services are funded.

Daily emergency operations are limited by law to a fire levy of ($1.50/$1,000) and an EMS levy of ($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. Voters in our fire district approved a 6% increase to keep up with the rising cost to provide service. Even with the voter-approved 6%, fire and EMS levy rates can never exceed the limits of $1.50 and $0.50 per $1,000.

We are not asking for a tax increase in 2024.

Calls volumes are holding steady, but costs have increased dramatically. The year 2023 will be known for rising costs for everything, which has caused us draw down the emergency reserve account. A fire engine has increased from $600,000 to more than $800,000. Our fuel costs went from $23,340 to $44,540. EMS supplies – $28,400 to $56,100. Facility maintenance is more costly as our stations age. We went from $25,230 to $114,430 as heat pumps failed, sewer pipes collapsed and other issues.

We do not control these costs, but must pay them to continue to provide the level of service our community needs.  We also know that our community is feeling the effect of higher prices, which is why we are not asking for a fire levy lid lift in 2024.