• By Todd Luck
  • Posted Monday, March 11, 2019

Public Hearing on Fire Overlay Tax District to be held Thursday

Forsyth County commissioners will hold a public hearing during their 2 p.m. meeting on Thursday, March 14, on a proposed fire service district overlay tax for those served by Forsyth County’s volunteer fire departments.

Last year, county commissioners added a 0.36 cent fire tax to areas served by the county’s volunteer fire departments in response to a request from fire chiefs to fund additional fire suppression services that support volunteer departments countywide. This was a temporary measure since there wasn’t enough time to establish an overlay service district and get that enhanced revenue in the 2018-2019 budget.

County commissioners will vote on Thursday whether to establish the countywide service district to provide supplemental services to the entire volunteer fire system. If this new service district is approved, then, as a part of the county budget later this spring, it is anticipated that the 0.36 cents would be removed from the fire tax districts, and the commissioners would establish the level of service and tax rate for this supplemental service district.

This will not take any money from local volunteer fire departments. The revenue generated from the tax goes to supplemental manpower that can arrive at emergency and fire events throughout the county. This enhances response time and provides trained personnel for labor intensive events like fires, rescues, medical calls and other emergencies.

This tax only affects those served by volunteer fire departments. Those within the city limits of Winston-Salem, Kernersville, Walkertown, High Point, Rural Hall and King will not be affected by this tax because they are served by municipal fire departments.

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