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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

  • (1997)

    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.

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