Drop noted in property values

The Bainbridge Island Fire Department is bracing for a drop in assessed property values next year.

Officials have been told by the Kitsap County Assessor’s Office that there will be a 3 percent drop in assessed values.

Ed Kaufman, finance administrator for the Bainbridge Island Fire Department, said the department won’t know the actual amount of the decrease until mid-August.

“We don’t have a dollar amount yet,” Kaufman said.

Planning for next year’s budget begins in August, and Fire Chief Hank Teran told the board of fire commissioners at their last meeting that strategies for balancing the budget could include a discussion of reducing expenses, increasing revenues and the use of cash reserves.

“When we start our budget cycle, we’ll have to address how this is all going to work,” Kaufman said.

The district has a total budget of $7.2 million in 2012. Property tax revenue is budgeted at $4.6 million for the general fire levy this year and $2.1 million for the EMS levy.

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