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There were three substantial changes in the 2017 legislation:
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Fire fees for improved properties (with buildings) are calculated based on the heated square footage of a building. Fire fees for vacant land are calculated based on the acreage of the property. Fees are not based on the tax value.
Brunswick County requested the legislation to meet immediate funding needs. In the years since 1999, when fire fees were originally enacted in Brunswick County, many factors affecting fire departments have changed, including a reduction in the number of volunteers and an increase in the number of paid staff needed. Many departments currently have, or will soon have, capital needs, such as necessary building repairs or fire trucks that need to be replaced.