Proposed Tax to Fund Volunteer Fire and Rescue Departments

By: Erica Proffer
By: Erica Proffer

A proposed property tax increase could mean extra money for some volunteer fire departments and rescue squads.

This November people in Dale County, except for the city of Ozark, will have the opportunity to vote on a tax that would cost everyone in the county, excluding Ozark residents, 30 extra dollars a year on their property tax.

That money would specifically go toward the volunteer fire and rescue departments like the Echo Fire And Rescue. The Echo Fire And Rescue Station has a newer fire truck and two emergency vehicles. And officials say response time is just as good as paid agencies.

The echo volunteer fire department receives about $12,000 a year from tobacco tax money. But officials say it costs about $15,000 to operate. That $3,000 that's needed usually comes from donations and sometimes their own pockets.

Officials say they don't have a safe place to operate. Their office is a portable building, and their vehicles are easily accessible.

The Echo Fire And Rescue also serve as back-up for the Ozark Fire Department in special occasions. Officials say the proposed increase on property taxes wouldn't solve money problems, but it would greatly help.


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