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Our Funding

Learn about the unique financial strategies and funding mechanisms that enable Lane Fire Authority to provide dedicated fire protection and emergency medical services across a vast service area.

Financing a Fire Service

Lane Fire Authority (LFA) is a government organization with the purpose of providing professional fire and emergency medical services (EMS) to the patrons of our fire district. You may notice we did not call ourselves a fire department. LFA is a single entity, with our own tax base and is not a department or division of a city or other government agency.


Although our name has “Lane” in it, we are not part of “Lane County” government and no dollars from the county are added to our budget. Being a district and not a department, we don’t subdivide funding with any other service/agency. We currently provide our service to 282 square miles of service area and our ambulances cover 425 square miles of service area. In the calendar year 2023 we responded to over 7000 calls for assistance.

Property Taxes

As you are aware, there is no “Sales Tax” in Oregon to support local services. In Oregon, primary funding is provided by a tax, approved by the voters, on personal property.


As an example, let’s say you have $100,000 dollar home with property, and the tax rate is $1.00 for each $1000 increment of the $100,000 dollar home. In this example there are one hundred, thousand-dollar increments and you would pay $1.00 for each one, works out to $100 in tax. In Lane County this tax bill is assessed in November of each year. 

LFA’s taxing rate is $2.04/$1000 of assessed value in what is called our “permanent tax rate”. In the above example the tax bill would be $204 per year. 

LFA is also using a separate taxing process called a “Local Option Levy”. This levy lasts 5 years and levies an additional amount of $0.35/$1000. In the same example above, an additional $35.00 per year for 5 years would be levied. Using these levies is a very common practice to funding shortfalls by most agencies in Oregon.

Fees for Services

Example: An ambulance service is very expensive, both in the equipment carried and the personnel who operate it. Taxes collected are for fire protection and not EMS response. In order to cover the expense of operating an ambulance, we charge a comparable fee used by other ambulance services in Oregon, to any person who uses the service.

Other fees charged by the district include CPR classes, fire extinguisher training and classes we either sponsor or teach, where outside students are brought in.

Although there are some other funding methods that help to contribute to the LFA budget, these are the main contributors. Our goal is to use the funding resources given to us in a well-thought-out, ethical, and cost-saving manner.  

Grants / Special Funding

LFA has team members that look for supplemental funding through grants and non-profit organizations. We apply to organizations that have similar goals and objectives as us and are willing to assist with funding to complete those similar goals and objectives. These organizations send out notifications that let us know they’re accepting funding requests. 

Example: The Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) has a grant program that is mostly concerned with firefighter and civilian safety. The Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG), sponsored by FEMA, is a grant that helps offset the cost for new equipment and personnel by up to 100% for personnel and 90% for equipment. LFA paid 10% of the cost for a new engine through this program. This engine was used to replace an aging engine from our fleet. During covid, LFA received $750,000 through the America Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). This money was used for an ambulance, brush fire vehicle and medical equipment. All with no co-pay. 

These two programs together made it so that our district received more than one million dollars of equipment for very little or no cost to the taxpayer.

Most grants are a competitive process, and a lot of organizations are trying to spread the wealth. This creates a condition where there is no way to guarantee success that the request will be awarded.

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