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Fire Benefit
Charge

To get the most accurate estimate of how a fire benefit charge will affect your property taxes, WVFD is providing residents with a calculator. Please click here

How do we fund emergency services?

 

We fund emergency services with a fire levy paid through property taxes. The fire levy accounts for 90 percent of our budget and is capped at $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value.

Is there a fairer way to fund emergency services?

 

We currently fund emergency services based only on a property’s assessed value. This means two houses of the same size can pay dramatically different amounts depending on their location within our fire district, while the cost to defend both in a fire is likely the same.

 

That is why we are looking at a fairer way to fund emergency services. We are considering establishing what is known as a fire benefit charge. Under a fire benefit charge, two houses of equal size would pay the same fire benefit charge.

What is a fire benefit charge?

A fire benefit charge is an annual fee that is based on a building’s size, use, and cost to defend in a fire. Smaller structures, such as single-family homes, are charged less than larger commercial or industrial buildings because it costs less to serve them during a fire or other emergency.

A fire benefit charge must be approved by voters every six years. The annual rate is set by the Board of Fire Commissioners in a public hearing.

We are considering asking voters for a fire benefit charge in the August 2024 primary election.

What are the advantages of a fire benefit charge?

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