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Fire Benefit Charge
Overview of the FBC
In April 2010, voters approved the use of the Fire Benefit Charge (FBC) system of fire department funding. This is a two-part funding method that balances general purpose taxes and a user fee (FBC) charged to buildings based on risk and need for service. It is called a benefit charge because it refers to the benefit of having fire protection available. Read the full version of FBC Funding Basics. For more detailed information please watch the RFA Funding Sources Part 1 and Part 2 videos.

Fire Benefit Charge - The Facts

Two Parts of the FBC System

The two parts (tax and fire benefit charge) of the FBC system are:
  • A tax of up to $1.00 may be levied per $1,000 on assessed values of all property and used for all day-to-day operations and capital needs of the Fire Department.
  • A Fire Benefit Charge (FBC) of up to 60% of the RFA's operating budget may be assessed to improvements on real property and used only for day-to-day operational expenses such as salaries, equipment, fuel, and utilities.

The FBC portion of the two-part funding system considers that those who benefit more from fire protection services (ie.: large structures and high fire-risk structures) should pay more for that service. The benefit charge is applied to improvements to real property but does not apply to land, giving tax relief to owners of vacant land.

Reduced Benefit Charges

Senior Citizens/Disabled Exemption
Qualifications include:

  • Annual household income of $35,000 or less
  • Own and occupy a house, mobile home, condo or co-op,
  • 61 years of age by December 31 of the previous year, or
  • Retired because of physical disability or
  • Veteran with a 100% service-connected disability
  • You are a widow, or widower, or state registered domestic partner at least 57 years of age whose spouse or state registered domestic partner had an exemption at the time of death.

Senior and low income exemptions are administered through the King County Assessor’s Office, for complete information on how to obtain a Senior Citizen/Disabled exemption, visit the King County Tax Payer assistance page HERE.

Monitored Fire Alarm Reduction

With a “Certificate of Service” from a licensed alarm monitoring company, owners of professionally installed fire alarm systems receive 7.5% off the normal fire benefit charge.

Automatic Fire Sprinkler Reduction

Receive a 10% reduction in the fire benefit charge if you have installed an automatic fire sprinkler system.

Agricultural Reduction

Qualifying agricultural uses receive a 75% reduction in the fire benefit charge.

Fire Benefit Appeal Form

Kent Fire Department Regional Fire Authority
Station Locations

Emergencies: 9-1-1

Fire Administration
(253) 856-4300

Fire Prevention
(253) 856-4400

Fire Training
(253) 856-4330

Office of Emergency Management
(253) 856-4440

Public Education
(253) 856-4480

FD Cares
(253) 856-2273

(253) 856-4470

Fleet Maintenance
(253) 856-4350

Kent Fire Department - RFA
24611 116th Ave. SE
Kent, WA 98030
Ph: (253) 856-4300