[Moore County Public Safety has compiled a list of answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the proposal to consolidate the sixteen existing fire districts into a single district with a single tax rate. The text of that FAQ appears below.]
Moore County Governmental staff has received calls with questions concerning the public hearing scheduled for April 21, 2015 to discuss a single/unified service district. In an effort to help answer the common questions we have compiled the following Frequently Asked Questions.
Question: Is the county abolishing the local fire departments?
No, the county is not abolishing the local fire departments, or establishing a county-wide fire department.
Question: Does the new fire service district affect the insurance districts?
No, we are not moving the 5 mile or 6 mile insurance district lines. We are establishing a single service district for the collecting of taxes at a single rate.
Question: Who has the responsibility to establish the service districts in the county?
According to N.C.G.S. 153A-301- The Board of Commissioners of any county may define any number of service districts in order to finance, provide, or maintain for the districts.
Question: Who has the responsibility to set the tax rate for the fire departments?
According to N.C.G.S. 153A-307 and N.C.G.S. 153A-149 the Board of Commissioners is responsible for the taxes and rate.
Question: Does this affect citizens that live within the municipalities?
No, the fire tax for citizens living within municipal limits is included in their general municipal tax rate.
Question: How will this affect my local fire department?
The fire departments will still continue to operate and provide the same services.
Question: Who will determine how the funding is distributed?
In January 2015, the Moore County Board of Commissioners established a Fire Commission comprised of 6 fire chiefs and 5 citizen representatives. The Fire Commission has been tasked with determining a funding model, establishing a minimum level of service needed and making recommendations to the Board of Commissioners on the future needs for fire service in Moore County.
Question: Is this a new tax?
No, this is not a new tax. Citizens already pay a fire tax, but currently at different rates.
Question: Will my taxes increase or decrease?
Some citizens’ taxes will go up and some will go down. The actual amount will depend on the property values and the overall rate needed to provide funding to the fire departments.