The City of Elkins charges a Fire Protection Service Fee to all property owners served by the Elkins Fire Department.
Previously, this fee was only charged to owners of properties inside city limits, even though the Elkins Fire Department must respond to emergency calls throughout the 150-square-mile “first due area” assigned to it by the West Virginia Fire Marshal. The vast majority of EFD’s first-due area lies outside of city limits.
Starting July 1, 2015, the City of Elkins began charging Fire Protection Service Fees to all property owners inside the EFD first-due area.
Click here to download a copy of the legislation governing Fire Protection Service Fees.
Click here to download an information sheet about the Fire Protection Service Fees and a map showing the area included.
Click here to download a copy of the 2020 West Virginia Supreme Court decision finding that the City of Elkins Fire Protection Service Fee is “a reasonable fee, rather than an impermissible tax or an unreasonable fee,” and affirming the legality of charging such a fee.
The rates are the same inside and outside the city. Fees are charged to property owners as follows:
- Owner-occupied homes: $100 per year.
- One-unit and two-unit rentals: $100 per unit (charged to owner).
- Rentals with three units or more: $0.05 per foot (charged to owner).
- Commercial and industrial buildings: $0.05 per foot (charged to owner).
- Trailer parks: $100 per trailer.
Click here for information on how to pay your fire fees online.
Why is this fee being collected?
- To ensure that all property owners protected by the Elkins Fire Department (EFD) help pay for that protection.
- To be able to increase EFD staffing and speed emergency response time. Since the implementation of the fee, in 2015, the department has added four paid, civil service firefighter positions, for a total of seven. As a result, the department has a full shift present and on-duty twenty-four hours a day.
Under what authority may the City of Elkins collect this fee?
West Virginia Code §8-13-13 grants cities the authority to charge such a fee, even outside city limits. Click here to download a copy of the 2020 West Virginia Supreme Court decision finding that the City of Elkins Fire Protection Service Fee is “a reasonable fee, rather than an impermissible tax or an unreasonable fee,” and affirming the legality of charging such a fee.
If you have questions about what you will be charged or other aspects of the administration of this fee, please contact Tracy Judy, Elkins City Treasurer, at: (304) 636-1414, ext. 1317.