Renton RFA clears up notice confusion

Residents have been receiving notices detailing upcoming property taxes and fire benefit charges.

Last week Renton residents received notices in the mail from the Renton Regional Fire Authority detailing upcoming property taxes and the fire benefit charge.

Since the notices were mailed out, the Renton RFA, as well as The Reporter, have received a number of calls from residents with questions.

The RFA was formed last year after voters in Renton and those in the King County Fire District 25 approved a measure to form the fire authority.

“Leading up to the election, we told voters that this new agency would do two specific things — increase costs to the tax payers and increase service levels,” Fire Chief Rick Marshall said in an email.

In previous years, cuts to staffing and equipment were made to save costs. Those reductions impacted our service level, Marshall said.

And in 2015, he added, five of Renton’s six fire stations did not meet the targeted response time for emergencies.

“Rapid response times are crucial for better outcomes, both with fires and emergency medical calls,” he said.

In order to help some residents better under the notices they received by mail, Marshall has included some key points.

“The taxes and benefit charges are completely consistent with our public discussion and published information prior to the formation of the fire authority,” Marshall said.

The notice stated that the property tax rate is set at $1 per 1,000 of assessed valuation. That amount is then offset by an equal reduction on the city’s side as provided by state law.

This is not a new charge, Marshall added. The only new charge residents will see on the notice is the fire benefit charge.

The benefit charge is “the portion charged to tax payers that make up the difference between property tax and the fire authorities approved operating budget,” he said in an email.

Following the collection of all necessary funds needed for a new fire station in the north Renton and Kennydale area, Marshall said the city of Renton is “committed to reducing the amount of (property) taxes they collect.”

He added that will then offset some of the added cost that comes from the benefit charge.

The fire benefit charge allows Renton fire stations the opportunity to provide a higher level of service to residents and businesses in the city, Marshall said.

So far, the Renton RFA has added a full time Aid Unit at Fire Station 13 in the Cascade/Benson Hill area.

And they have also been able to make adjustments that allow for more consistent staffing for emergency response during training and community activities.

Marshall said there are at least three other things the RFA is “committed to doing.”

Those include implementing a FD Cares Unit that will be designed to handle non-emergency calls, staffing the new fire station in north Renton/Kennydale and hiring additional Fire Prevention and Public Education staff members who will proactively protect the community and reduce the growing number of calls.

Marshall wanted to stress to Renton residents that “100 percent of the money (collected from property taxes and the benefit charge) goes to fire and emergency services.”

Anyone who still has questions is welcome to visit the RFA’s website at or call 425-430-7000.

More in News

Sarah Abdullah is a pharmacist who left Iraq as a refugee. She joined the Welcome Back Center at Highline College and is now only two tests away from gaining Washington state certification to practice her trade. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo
Recredentialed: Barriers face Washington’s immigrant, refugee professionals

Even with degrees from abroad, it can be difficult for many to get certified in the state.

If passed, Senate Bill 6254 would limit the nicotine concentration of vape products, ban certain flavoring chemicals and require vape manufacturers, distributors and retailers to obtain licenses from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board. File photo
Lawmakers propose sweeping regulations for vaping industry

Bill supporters cite concerns over health issues and teen use.

Photo by Haley Ausbun. A cloudy day at Renton Municipal Airport.
Seaplane pilots, businesses say no to FAA plans

Local businesses and pilots ask Renton to reconsider airport master plan

A proposal by Senate Democrats would require concealed pistol license applicants in Washington state to complete a safety course. File photo
Democrats seek firearm training requirement for concealed carriers

Republican senator calls proposal ‘unconstitutional.’

Snohomish County man is first U.S. case of new coronavirus

A man in his 30s was hospitalized in Everett after contracting the virus during a trip to China.

Photo courtesy of city of Renton. Council President Ruth Pérez speaks at Centro Rendu de San Vicente de Paul for the Reyes Magos event.
Census campaign joins Reyes Magos celebration

Members of Renton’s Hispanic community gathered Jan. 10 at Centro Rendu de… Continue reading

Alexander, who attended the event with his family that are currently housed at Mary’s Place, shows off his new shoes, compared to the pair he’s had the last two years. The shoes were just one of the resources his family accessed at the United Way Family Resource Exchange on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 20 at Lindbergh High School.
MLK’s humanity reflected in resource fair

United Way host Family Resource Exchange event

Photo courtesy of Carol Kaelson. Christel Tucker, a Renton resident and flight attendant, stands at the wheel at Wheel of Fortune. Her episode airs Monday, Jan. 20.
Rentonite spins the wheel of her dreams

Local finds herself winning thousands on Wheel of Fortune

Matt Marshall, leader of the Washington Three Percenters gun rights group, addresses a crowd rallying for Second Amendment rights Jan. 17 at the state Capitol in Olympia. Marshall condemned Republican leadership in the House of Representatives, which expelled Rep. Matt Shea from the Republican Caucus. Marshall announced his candidacy for the 2nd District seat held by House Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox. Photo by Cameron Sheppard, WNPA News Service
Gun rights advocates rally at Capitol

Criticism levied at Matt Shea investigation, Republican leadership.

Most Read