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  • USA: Official: Raise insurance tax to help fight wildfires

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USA: Official: Raise insurance tax to help fight wildfires

Source(s):  Associated Press (AP)

By Nicholas K. Geranios

SPOKANE, Wash. — With an increasing number of forest fires scorching portions of Washington each year, the Legislature is considering a proposal to create a fund dedicated to preventing and battling wildfires.

In March, Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz and state Senate Democrats proposed to increase the tax on premiums for property and casualty insurance in order to raise $62.5 million annually to pay for wildfire suppression and prevention.

“Never before have we faced a wildfire crisis of this magnitude,” Franz told lawmakers recently. “And one way or another, we are going to pay for our wildfires and dying forests. The question is whether we are going to pay to react as we deal with smoke and flames, or pay to be proactive.”


The proposal would help the state modernize its wildland firefighting forces, as well as help restore 1.25 million acres of forests to make them more fire resistant, she said.


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  • Publication date 13 Apr 2019

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