Chatham County Adopts Fire Fee for Unincoporated Area
On Friday, May 13, Chatham County adopted a fire fee for unincorporated area. The Chatham County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to repeal the fire tax adopted last December and replace it with a Fire Services Fee.
The fee will include a flat $100 charge for land and a rate based on the square footage of residents' improved property, which includes all structures that could catch fire and burn. The square footage for each property will be obtained through Chatham County Board of Assessors records.
The square footage part of the fee works on a tiered rate system. Properties measuring up to 499 square feet would be charged $100; 500 to 999 square feet, $125; 1,000 to 1,999 square feet, $175; 2,000 to 2,999 square feet, $250; 3,000 to 3,999 square feet, $400.
Once properties hit 5,000 or more square feet the rate jumps into the thousands. Anything more than 100,000 square feet would be charged $15,000, not including the $100 land fee. You can learn more here - https://www.chathamcountyga.gov/OurCounty/FireServices.
The first fire fee bill will be mailed to property owners between July 1 and Sept. 30, 2022. In December 2021, commissioners approved a contract with Chatham Fire for fire protection services, making the department a vendor instead of service provider. Under the contract, Chatham Fire ceased its fire subscription billing effective December 31, and the service period for subscriptions will terminate on June 30, 2022. The department will prorate refunds for the portion of customers' paid subscription applicable to the service period after June 30, 2022.