FIRE DEPARTMENT BILL Proposed Bill Would Fund WV Fire Departments
Reported by: Dave Benton
Videographer: Jeremy Bias
Web Producer: Heath Harrison
Reported: Mar. 10, 2013 6:36 PM EDT
Updated: Mar. 11, 2013 9:15 AM EDT
EYEWITNESS ONLINE WEBCAST VIDEO C L I C K T O P L A Y
, Kanawha County
, West Virginia
A bill has been proposed at the West Virginia State Capitol to help fund volunteer fire departments, but it comes at a cost.
A few days ago, a bill was introduced in the Senate that would increase the surcharge on fire and casualty insurance policies for homeowners.
The money generated, which is an extra $14 million, would total $30 million a year and help volunteer fire departments with equipment, training and even their own insurance policies.
If a homeowner in West Virginia pays $500 a year for insurance, currently they pay $7.50 for fire and casualty. If the bill passes that would go up $2.50 more a year.
"There have been several attempts at this issue. Generally, the opposition has come from the insurance industry," Tom Miller of the Sissonville Volunteer Fire Department said. "But right now, the bill has been introduced by Sen. Bob Plymale and we're very grateful to him for that. We're hoping it does pass because it would lift some of the burdens from the fire departments in regards to fund raising and boot drives. But we defer to the discretion of the Legislature."
If the proposed bill becomes law, the money from the surcharge would be distributed quarterly to volunteer fire departments equally throughout the state.
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