Fire Board Action On January 17, 2024, the elected leaders of the Woodburn Fire District approved Resolution 2023-02 to refer the renewal of the local option levy to the voters on the May 21st ballot.

Levy History  A five-year local option levy for $0.35/1000 assessed value was first approved by district voters in 2018.  The stated purpose for the 2018 levy was: 1) maintaining a minimum of four firefighters including a paramedic on-duty at all times; (2) training select members for paramedic certification, and; (3 purchase of advanced life support equipment to improve patient outcomes for medical emergencies.  The fire district has fulfilled all commitments made to voters and is now proposing the renewal of the levy to continue funding.

Purpose of the Proposed Local Option Levy   All levy funds will be used to maintain current firefighter and paramedic staffing levels with no increase in the property tax rate.  This levy provides about 17% of WFD’s total funding.  Levy renewals require voter approval.

Cost of the Proposed Levy   If approved, the proposed measure would renew the 35 cent/1000 assessed value levy with no tax rate increase.  The cost to property taxpayers in the District depends on the assessed value (not market value) of their property.  For residential property assessed at $200,000, about average for the District, the cost would be approximately $5.80 per month or about $70 dollars a year.

Key Community Impacts

  • Maintain Current Firefighter and Paramedic Staffing Levels– Fire district firefighters and paramedics respond to fires, medical emergencies, car crashes, hazardous material spills and rescue needs in Woodburn, Gervais, and the surrounding 75 square mile area.  The renewal of the levy will maintain current staffing levels at no additional cost.
  • Continue to Provide Advanced Life Support (ALS) Service – Advanced Life Support paramedics provide the highest possible level of pre-hospital care to patients. The district began ALS medical service with levy funds in 2019.  The levy renewal would maintain the district’s ability to ensure that a firefighter/paramedic with advanced medical training is on-duty at all times.
  • Meet the Increasing Demand for Emergency Service – The demand for emergency services in the fire district has increased by 80% since 2010. Renewal of the levy will allow the fire district to meet the increasing demand for emergency services that is resulting from population growth.
  • Response to Overlapping Emergency Calls – Funds from the levy help the fire district respond to emergency calls that happen at the same time. Overlapping emergency calls occur more than 500 times each year.  The renewal of the levy at the same tax rate will maintain the district’s current ability to respond without relying on neighboring fire districts for response, which takes an additional 15 minutes on average.

Impact if the Local Option Levy Fails   If the levy renewal is not approved, the loss of up to two firefighters/paramedics is projected. The fire district’s ability to add firefighters and paramedics as the district grows will be significantly reduced. Without additional emergency personnel, response times to emergencies will increase.

Communities Served by the Woodburn Fire District The Woodburn Fire District serves a 75 square mile area of the Willamette Valley that includes the communities of Woodburn, Gervais, Waconda, and Broadacres.  The population of the service area is approximately 34,000 residents.

Services Provided by the Woodburn Fire District   The Woodburn Fire District staff includes both career firefighters and paramedics and volunteer firefighters who provide:

  • Emergency Medical Service
  • Fire Suppression
  • Fire Prevention
  • Rescue Services
  • Hazardous Materials Response
  • Public Assistance, such as lift assists for seniors who have fallen, water leak problems, smoke detectors checks, etc.

Woodburn Fire District Tax Rate Compared to Other Fire Districts If the local option levy is renewed, Woodburn Fire District’s total property tax rate would be $2.21/1,000 assessed value.  This amount includes the permanent rate, capital bond rate approved by voters in 2022, and the proposed local option levy renewal.  The table below shows how this rate compares with other fire districts in the area:

Fire District

Total Tax Rate

Permanent + Bond + Levy

 Woodburn Fire District

Permanent Tax Rate

Local option levy being voted on

Bonded Debt Approved by Voters in 2022





Tualatin Valley Fire District $2.10
 Sandy Fire District $2.18
Aurora Fire District $2.35
Marion County Fire District 1 $2.49
Canby Fire District $2.72

Additional Fire District Information

  • More than 2,000 new residences are expected in the district over the next 3-5 years and this growth trend is expected to continue. The fire district is striving to maintain the quality and level of emergency services to residents and businesses in the district as the population grows.
  • The average number of career firefighters for fire agencies with a similar amount of population in the western U.S. is about (1) firefighter per 1,000 residents. With a total of 16 firefighters and paramedics that serve 34,000 residents of Woodburn, Gervais and surrounding area, the current ratio of firefighters is about 0.47 per 1,000 residents. 


For more information on the Woodburn Fire District or the local option levy, contact

Fire Chief Joe Budge (503 982-2360)  joe.budge@woodburnfire.com