The local Board of Fire Commissioners has passed a resolution to place a fire benefit charge on the primary election ballot this August.

The Wenatchee Valley Fire Department (WVFD) is asking voters to consider establishing the charge as a more fair and balanced way of funding local emergency services.

WVFD Chief Brian Brett says adopting the charge would allow his agency greater control over its budgeting processes.

"The fire benefit charge allows us to set the budget regarding the benefit every year. That gives us a more precise budgeting tool that benefits both the Fire Department and the tax payers."

Local emergency services are currently funded by a fire levy that is based only the assessed value of a property, meaning two houses of the same size can pay very different amounts depending on their location within the fire district, while the cost to put out a fire at both is the same.

Unlike the fire levy, a fire benefit charge is based on a building’s size.

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Brett says the benefit charge also allows Fire Commissioners to set up their budgets annually, as opposed to every six years like the current fire levy.

"Under any other levy measure we have to pass it every six years which requires us to make budget projections that must last through those six years. So it's possible for us to take too much money or not enough money and regardless we have to live with that budgeted amount for six years."

Voters in more than 20 fire districts across the state have already approved a fire benefit charge to fund emergency services in their communities.

Passing the benefit charge will require a 60 percent supermajority when the issue is put before voters on Aug. 6.

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