tax is not paid. Rather than being based on assessed property value as property taxes are, fire
flow taxes are based on a computed fire flow requirement using an Insurance Services Office
(ISO) formula (United States Fire Administration [USFA], 1993).
In lieu of increasing taxes, government officials have turned their attention to finding
other revenue sources to maintain or expand the current level of services. Non-tax funding
alternatives consist primarily of user fees or charges (also know as cost recovery fees) which
are intended to offset some or all of the costs of delivering a service (Wren, 1995). DiPoli
lists the following examples:
Ambulance transport fees- fees charged to patients transported to the hospital by fire department emergency medical units.
False alarm response fees- fees based on the premise that the cost for response to unnecessary or false alarms should be passed on to the property owner.
Hazardous materials response cost recovery fees- fees charged to the party responsible for causing the release of hazardous chemicals resulting in an emergency response by the fire department.
Stand-by fees- fees charged for fire department personnel to stand by at non-emergency, or post emergency situations.
Public service fees- fees for non-emergency response such as animal rescue and pumping out flooded cellars or basements.
Impact fees- fees charged to a developer to help pay for the increased response burden on fire and emergency medical services as a result of the development.