Rainbow is the fire district for the majority of our water customers. Rainbow collects property taxes and uses that money to hire Eugene-Springfield Fire & EMS to actually provide the service. They operate 11 fire stations in Eugene and 5 fire stations in Springfield as shown on the map. A small portion of Rainbow water customers in the Gamebird Village area are fire customers of the Willakenzie Rural Fire Protection District. Fire protection provider information will appear on your property tax bill but you may also enter your address and look it up here: Find My Fire Provider
How do property taxes work?
The Lane County Tax Assessor establishes property taxes based on the Assessed Value (AV) of the property, not the Real Market Value that the property might sell for in a competitive market. Eugene-Springfield Fire charges Rainbow for fire protection and emergency medical services as a percentage of the city's annual budget based on the AV of Rainbow's service area as compared to the AV of the entire Springfield area. Rainbow, in turn, collects property taxes based on the AV of an individual property. Rainbow Water and Fire District will appear twice on your property tax bill.
By law, the Assessed Value cannot increase more than 3% per year, which puts a limit on the amount of taxes that can be collected from our permanent tax rate of $2.0631 per $1,000. The cost of our contracted fire protection services exceeds our revenue from the permanent tax rate, so Rainbow has utilized a levy, or temporary tax, to collect $1.71 per $1,000 as additional revenue. The Local Option Levy shows up on your tax bills on a second line as “Rainbow Water and Fire District LO.” The levy was renewed by voters for five years on November 8, 2022.
What impacts my cost of fire insurance?
Fire insurance is a type of property insurance that covers damages and losses caused by fire. The premiums charged by insurers are influenced by a community's ISO rating. The Insurance Services Office (ISO) collects data about fire protection efforts and rates communities on a scale of 1 (good) to 10 (bad). Eugene-Springfield Fire has earned a score of 2, which is excellent. Rainbow supports the ISO rating by a regular program of fire hydrant maintenance, installing additional fire hydrants to reduce the spacing between hydrants, repairing pumps and pipes, and maintaining additional storage in our reservoirs that is reserved for firefighting needs. We also have limited capacity to connect generators to some of our wells, allowing us to refill tanks even during a power outage.