Seattle Council goes ahead with alarm fees
SEATTLE - In late November, after more than a month of debate, the Seattle City Council adopted new alarm fees and fines as part of the cityÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s $666 million 2004 budget proposed by Mayor Greg Nickels last year.
The new ordinance creates an annual license fee of $40 for burglar alarms, $80 for fire alarm systems not required by fire code and $320 for fire alarm systems required by code. Each false burglar or fire alarm will result in a $125 fine. These fees and fines will be charged to alarm companies, who will then most likely pass them on to customers.
The Seattle Times has reported that the city hopes to bring in about $1.9 million next year, which will help offset a budget shortfall of $24 million for fiscal year 2004. The Times reports that about $1.5 million will come from permit fees and $400,000 from false alarm fines.
City officials estimated that roughly 21,000 burglar alarms and more than 1,200 fire alarms will be affected by the new fees.