Renews Local Option Levy for Fire and Emergency Medical Services

Question: Shall TVF&R renew an emergency services levy at $0.45 per $1,000 assessed value for five years, beginning FY 2020-2021? This measure renews current local option taxes.

Summary: Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue (TVF&R) is seeking a levy renewal for 45 cents per $1000 of assessed valuation, the same as TVF&R’s existing rate. The current levy expires in June 2020. Levy renewals require voter approval. For a property assessed at $300,000, about the average in TVF&R’s service area, the cost of the levy would be approximately $135 per year or about $11.25 per month. If the levy renewal does not pass, funding that currently supports at least 92 of 432 TVF&R firefighters and paramedics would be lost. TVF&R’s firefighters and paramedics respond to emergency incidents like fires, heart attacks, car crashes, and rescue operations. Funding for other staff positions that support TVF&R’s operations would also be lost. If the levy passes, levy funds will maintain firefighter, paramedic, and support staff positions. Proceeds will also be used to purchase land for future fire stations, fire hose, firefighting tools, and medical equipment. An estimate of the total amount of money to be raised for each year of the proposed levy renewal is: FY 2020-2021: $28,581,437 FY 2021-2022: $29,864,743 FY 2022-2023: $31,205,670 FY 2023-2024: $32,606,805 FY 2024-2025: $34,070,850


Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue (TVF&R) provides fire suppression, emergency medical care, technical rescue, water rescue, hazardous material response, and fire prevention services to the cities of Beaverton, Durham, King City, Newberg, North Plains, Rivergrove, Sherwood, Tigard, Tualatin, West Linn and Wilsonville, as well as unincorporated portions of Washington, Clackamas, Yamhill and Multnomah Counties.

What is the history behind this proposal?
TVF&R voters first approved a 20-cent local option levy in 2000 and renewed it in 2004 and 2008. In 2014, voters approved a replacement levy with a tax rate of 45 cents per $1,000 assessed valuation. The 2014 replacement levy provides 22% of TVF&R’s funding. Levy renewals require voter approval.

What does this measure call for?
It proposes renewing the current levy for five more years at the same tax rate of $0.45 per $1,000 of assessed value.

What would the levy pay for?
If the levy passes, levy funds will maintain at least 92 firefighter and paramedic positions, as well as other staff positions that support TVF&R’s operations. Proceeds will also be used to purchase land for future fire stations, fire hose, firefighting tools, and medical equipment.

How much will the levy cost?
For a property assessed at $300,000, about the average in TVF&R’s service area, the cost of the levy would be approximately $135 per year or about $11.25 per month.

What happens if the levy does not pass?
If the levy is not renewed before June 2020, reductions in staffing and operations will be required.

What has TVF&R done with the levy funds voters approved in 2014?

  • Retained 42 levy-funded firefighters and hired additional firefighters, paramedics and staff who support TVF&R’s operations
  • Purchased two fire engines, one tiller truck, two medic/rescue units, one response car, one rescue boat, five fire investigator vehicles, and command vehicles
  • Constructed one new fire station with a second station in progress
  • Acquired land for five fire stations
  • Helped fund the seismic upgrade and remodel of three existing fire stations
  • Acquired equipment such as fire hose, breathing apparatus, and medical kits

Will property tax bills increase if this measure is approved?
The current tax rate would remain the same, but the assessed value of most properties increases by approximately 3% each year. As a result, the levy amount increases by the same percentage.

When would the new levy first be collected?
It would appear for the first time on the November 2020 property tax statement. The tax rate of $0.45 per $1,000 would be identical to what currently appears on individual tax bills.

What is the total tax rate for TVF&R?
The total tax rate for TVF&R is $2.0839 per $1000 assessed valuation.

Permanent Rate
Levy being voted on
Bonded debt

Submitted by:
Cassandra Ulven,
Public Affairs Chief
Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue District



Community Leaders Support TVF&R’s Local Option Levy Renewal
Most of us have worked years -even decades- on issues that affect the livability and prosperity of our community. We have high expectations of our public agencies. We want our constituents to feel confident in the service they’ll receive if they must call 9-1-1

Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue continues to evolve as an organization to meet the needs of our changing environment. Their firefighters and paramedics are constantly training to perform cutting-edge medical techniques, applying the best firefighting methods to save lives and prevent property loss, as well as providing safety education. They also use data to inform the best response to calls and fire station locations.

It’s clear that TVF&R provides high-quality service at a good value to taxpayers as demonstrated by their Insurance Services Organization rating which analyzes the operations and business practices of fire departments across the nation. An organization’s score can be used to determine what people pay for fire insurance. TVF&R is considered a Class 2 (on a 10-point scale) for most of their service area. Only three percent of fire agencies in the U.S. have such a high rating!

Measure 34-286 pays for firefighters and provides essential operating revenue.
We believe it’s important for our public safety system.

We hope you join us in voting yes.

Marc San Soucie, Beaverton City Councilor
Jeff Barker, Representative District 28
Lacey Beaty, Beaverton City Council President
Jim Bernard, Clackamas County Commission Chair
Margaret Doherty, Representative District 35
Mark Fagin, Beaverton City Councilor
Juan Carlos Gonzalez, Metro Councilor
John Goodhouse, Tigard City Council Chair
Kathryn Harrington, Washington County Commission Chair
Ken Humberston, Clackamas County Commission
Lynn Peterson, Metro Council President
Tobias Read, Oregon State Treasurer
Roy Rogers, Washington County Commissioner
Dick Schouten, Washington County Commissioner
Martha Schrader, Clackamas County Commissioners
Janeen Sollman, Representative District 30

(This information furnished by Marc San Soucie.)


Firefighters Support Measure 34-286

Every day, our men and women in uniform feel proud and grateful to serve you. We’re willing to risk our lives to save yours.

Thanks to your investments, we have had enough people, tools and vehicles to provide reliable and professional emergency response. Your past support has allowed us to protect families and homes while ensuring firefighter safety. With your help, we responded to more than 49,000 emergencies last year.

We do not take your support for granted. There are a lot of things we do to ensure we’re prepared to answer a call for help:

  • We stay fit.
  • We train hard.
  • We act with integrity.
  • We exercise compassion.
  • We work as a team.
  • We diligently care for our publicly-funded vehicles, stations and equipment.

We are equally committed to using education and other prevention strategies to reduce incidents in the communities we serve because we believe the best emergency is the one that doesn’t happen.

As you read this, our firefighters are poised and ready to respond when you need us. Your renewal of our operating levy will ensure this remains the case for the next five years.

In service,
Rocky L. Hanes, President
Tualatin Valley Firefighters
IAFF Local 1660

(This information furnished by Rocky Hanes.)



We have been elected by you to provide oversight of Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue.

We have referred the renewal of TVF&R’s local option levy to the ballot for these reasons:

  1. We know through decades of research that your top priority for TVF&R is to provide fast and effective emergency response. This levy pays for at least 92 of 432 firefighters and paramedics, as well as staff that support emergency operations. These firefighters are critical to meeting the federal safety mandate of “two in, two out”. This allows a crew of four to immediately send two firefighters into a burning building to make a rescue with two ready to make a rescue if needed. This staffing also allows immediate action at motor vehicle crashes and serious medical events.
  2. We feel that TVF&R has a solid track record of keeping promises. Since voters first approved an operating levy in 2000, TVF&R has fulfilled every commitment made to you, our investors.
  3. We believe this levy is a good value. For less than $12 per month, we can maintain an adequate number of emergency responders to send the right resources to the right call at the right time. This levy enables us to continue to adequately staff for emergency events, purchase essential firefighting tools, medical equipment and land for future fire stations.
  4. This is not a new tax. We are simply seeking the renewal of an existing levy.

Please join us in supporting this measure.

Clark Balfour, Board President
Randy Lauer, Vice President
Gordon Hovies, Secretary/Treasurer
Brian Clopton, Board Member
Robert Wyffels, Board Member

(This information furnished by Clark Balfour.)


Your Investment in TVF&R is Used Wisely

We are citizen volunteers who participate in TVF&R’s annual budget process. We are acutely aware that our input can impact your property tax bill, and we understand that you want the cost of service to be as value-driven as possible.

We also understand that when something bad happens to you or your family, you want TVF&R’s firefighters and paramedics to respond quickly.

As Budget Committee members, our job is to balance these competing interests. We must also keep a keen eye on the fire district’s accounting and budget priorities.

We feel TVF&R uses your tax dollars wisely. We also feel they have the proper financial controls in place and adhere to the strictest fiscal practices, including rigorous annual audits. TVF&R has a Aaa rating which is the highest credit rating possible. Because of their size, they’re also able to achieve cost savings through economies of scale and reduced administrative overhead.

Our opinion of Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue’s financial practices is shared by the Government Financial Officers Association who has awarded the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award to TVF&R every year for the past three decades.

TVF&R Budget Committee
Angie Fong
Paul Leavy
Michael Mudrow
James Petrizzi
Michael Smith

(This information furnished by Angie Fong.)

The printing of these arguments does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the arguments.