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84.52.067  <<  84.52.069 >>   84.52.070

RCW 84.52.069

Emergency medical care and service levies.

(1) As used in this section, "taxing district" means a county, emergency medical service district, city or town, public hospital district, urban emergency medical service district, regional fire protection service authority, or fire protection district.

     (2) Except as provided in subsection (10) of this section, a taxing district may impose additional regular property tax levies in an amount equal to fifty cents or less per thousand dollars of the assessed value of property in the taxing district. The tax is imposed (a) each year for six consecutive years, (b) each year for ten consecutive years, or (c) permanently. A permanent tax levy under this section, or the initial imposition of a six-year or ten-year levy under this section, must be specifically authorized by a majority of at least three-fifths of the registered voters thereof approving a proposition authorizing the levies submitted at a general or special election, at which election the number of persons voting "yes" on the proposition shall constitute three-fifths of a number equal to forty percent of the total number of voters voting in such taxing district at the last preceding general election when the number of registered voters voting on the proposition does not exceed forty percent of the total number of voters voting in such taxing district in the last preceding general election; or by a majority of at least three-fifths of the registered voters thereof voting on the proposition when the number of registered voters voting on the proposition exceeds forty percent of the total number of voters voting in such taxing district in the last preceding general election. The uninterrupted continuation of a six-year or ten-year tax levy under this section must be specifically authorized by a majority of the registered voters thereof approving a proposition authorizing the levies submitted at a general or special election. Ballot propositions must conform with RCW 29A.36.210. A taxing district may not submit to the voters at the same election multiple propositions to impose a levy under this section.

     (3) A taxing district imposing a permanent levy under this section shall provide for separate accounting of expenditures of the revenues generated by the levy. The taxing district must maintain a statement of the accounting which must be updated at least every two years and must be available to the public upon request at no charge.

     (4)(a) A taxing district imposing a permanent levy under this section must provide for a referendum procedure to apply to the ordinance or resolution imposing the tax. This referendum procedure must specify that a referendum petition may be filed at any time with a filing officer, as identified in the ordinance or resolution. Within ten days, the filing officer must confer with the petitioner concerning form and style of the petition, issue the petition an identification number, and secure an accurate, concise, and positive ballot title from the designated local official. The petitioner has thirty days in which to secure the signatures of not less than fifteen percent of the registered voters of the taxing district, as of the last general election, upon petition forms which contain the ballot title and the full text of the measure to be referred. The filing officer must verify the sufficiency of the signatures on the petition and, if sufficient valid signatures are properly submitted, must certify the referendum measure to the next election within the taxing district if one is to be held within one hundred eighty days from the date of filing of the referendum petition, or at a special election to be called for that purpose in accordance with RCW 29A.04.330.

     (b) The referendum procedure provided in this subsection (4) is exclusive in all instances for any taxing district imposing the tax under this section and supersedes the procedures provided under all other statutory or charter provisions for initiative or referendum which might otherwise apply.

     (5) Any tax imposed under this section may be used only for the provision of emergency medical care or emergency medical services, including related personnel costs, training for such personnel, and related equipment, supplies, vehicles and structures needed for the provision of emergency medical care or emergency medical services.

     (6) If a county levies a tax under this section, no taxing district within the county may levy a tax under this section. If a regional fire protection service authority imposes a tax under this section, no other taxing district that is a participating fire protection jurisdiction in the regional fire protection service authority may levy a tax under this section. No other taxing district may levy a tax under this section if another taxing district has levied a tax under this section within its boundaries: PROVIDED, That if a county levies less than fifty cents per thousand dollars of the assessed value of property, then any other taxing district may levy a tax under this section equal to the difference between the rate of the levy by the county and fifty cents: PROVIDED FURTHER, That if a taxing district within a county levies this tax, and the voters of the county subsequently approve a levying of this tax, then the amount of the taxing district levy within the county must be reduced, when the combined levies exceed fifty cents. Whenever a tax is levied countywide, the service must, insofar as is feasible, be provided throughout the county: PROVIDED FURTHER, That no countywide levy proposal may be placed on the ballot without the approval of the legislative authority of each city exceeding fifty thousand population within the county: AND PROVIDED FURTHER, That this section and RCW 36.32.480 shall not prohibit any city or town from levying an annual excess levy to fund emergency medical services: AND PROVIDED, FURTHER, That if a county proposes to impose tax levies under this section, no other ballot proposition authorizing tax levies under this section by another taxing district in the county may be placed before the voters at the same election at which the county ballot proposition is placed: AND PROVIDED FURTHER, That any taxing district emergency medical service levy that is limited in duration and that is authorized subsequent to a county emergency medical service levy that is limited in duration, expires concurrently with the county emergency medical service levy. A fire protection district that has annexed an area described in subsection (10) of this section may levy the maximum amount of tax that would otherwise be allowed, notwithstanding any limitations in this subsection (6).

     (7) The limitations in RCW 84.52.043 do not apply to the tax levy authorized in this section.

     (8) If a ballot proposition approved under subsection (2) of this section did not impose the maximum allowable levy amount authorized for the taxing district under this section, any future increase up to the maximum allowable levy amount must be specifically authorized by the voters in accordance with subsection (2) of this section at a general or special election.

     (9) The limitation in RCW 84.55.010 does not apply to the first levy imposed pursuant to this section following the approval of such levy by the voters pursuant to subsection (2) of this section.

     (10) For purposes of imposing the tax authorized under this section, the boundary of a county with a population greater than one million five hundred thousand does not include all of the area of the county that is located within a city that has a boundary in two counties, if the locally assessed value of all the property in the area of the city within the county having a population greater than one million five hundred thousand is less than two hundred fifty million dollars.

     (11) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:

     (a) "Fire protection jurisdiction" means a fire protection district, city, town, Indian tribe, or port district; and

     (b) "Participating fire protection jurisdiction" means a fire protection district, city, town, Indian tribe, or port district that is represented on the governing board of a regional fire protection service authority.

[2012 c 115 § 1; 2011 c 365 § 2; 2004 c 129 § 23; 1999 c 224 § 1; 1995 c 318 § 9; 1994 c 79 § 2; 1993 c 337 § 5; 1991 c 175 § 1; 1985 c 348 § 1; 1984 c 131 § 5; 1979 ex.s. c 200 § 1.]

Notes:

     Findings -- Intent -- 2011 c 365: "(1) The legislature finds that King county currently imposes an emergency medical services levy throughout the entire county. The legislature further finds that the city of Milton is located partially within King and Pierce counties and the residents of Milton within King county pay the county emergency medical services levy. The legislature further finds that King county, through an interlocal agreement with the city of Milton, has not provided emergency medical services to the city for many years and instead has remitted the county emergency medical services levy collected within the city back to the city. The legislature further finds that the city of Milton has collected only twenty cents per thousand dollars of assessed valuation under its city emergency medical services levy, and not the full fifty cents authorized by the city's voters, because state law limits the city's levy, as well as any other taxing district's emergency medical services levy, if the county also imposes the tax. The legislature further finds that the city of Milton is exploring the possibility of being annexed by a fire protection district located in Pierce county; however, if the district annexes the entire city, including the portion in King county, the district would have to lower its emergency medical services levy as required under state law.

     (2) It is the intent of the legislature to address this unusual situation by excluding the portion of the city of Milton within King county from the county emergency medical services levy. It is the further intent of the legislature to clarify that a fire protection district is able to levy the full amount of emergency medical services levy otherwise allowed by law throughout the entire city." [2011 c 365 § 1.]

     Application -- 2011 c 365: "This act applies to taxes levied for collection in 2012 and thereafter." [2011 c 365 § 3.]

     Captions not law -- Severability -- 2004 c 129: See RCW 52.26.900 and 52.26.901.

     Application -- 1999 c 224: "This act applies to levies authorized after July 25, 1999." [1999 c 224 § 3.]

     Effective date -- 1995 c 318: See note following RCW 82.04.030.

     Finding -- 1993 c 337: See note following RCW 84.52.105.

     Purpose -- 1984 c 131 §§ 3-9: See note following RCW 29A.36.210.

     Severability -- 1979 ex.s. c 200: "If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [1979 ex.s. c 200 § 3.]