Commissioners solidify changes to fire and rescue funding

Frederick News Post
Bethany Rodgers
06/21/2013
County commissioners Thursday took the final steps to abolish the two-tier fire tax system that has funded local emergency services since 2001. Officials passed a county operating budget earlier this month that eliminates the fire tax and funds the rescue system primarily through property taxes, essentially spreading the cost of emergency services evenly across all taxpayers. Commissioners made the changes permanent Thursday by zeroing out the fire tax, which was levied at a higher rate in urban districts and at a lower rate in suburban districts. While four of the board members supported the action, Commissioner David Gray opposed it. Gray said the package of changes to the fire system hadn’t been thoroughly vetted.