The problem is that the Harrison Township Fire Department is experiencing a
decrease in funding derived from tax revenue. Faced with increases in cost for personnel,
equipment, facilities and the general delivery and administration of services there is a need to
find new or alternative funding sources.
The purpose of this study is to develop a list of alternative funding sources available to
the Harrison Township Fire Department.
This study uses the action research methodology to develop a list of alternative
The research questions to be answered are:
How has Harrison Township traditionally funded its Fire Department?
What effect has the Headlee Amendment had on funding for the Harrison Township Fire Department?
What funding alternatives have other departments used to fund fire and emergency medical services?
BACKGROUND AND SIGNIFICANCE
For many years the primary source of funding for the Harrison Township Fire
Department has been property taxes. Ad valorem (in proportion to value) taxes are often the
largest source of local government revenue. Such taxes are on real property (land or anything
fixed to it), based on a percentage (or millage) of actual or assessed valuation (Wren, 1995).
The reliance on property taxes to fund fire and emergency medical services has
become problematic for fire department administrators. Peterson (1999) states “The biggest
problem with the property tax may prove to be that it doesn’t have enough revenue producing