Hi Chief Westbrook,
I am new to the Diamondhead area and did actually have a question regarding the monthly charge for the Fire Dept. When we bought our house we were just told that we would be required to pay this cost but we did not really receive an explantion of what the charge was for. I was under the impression that fire protection is captured in the Hancock County taxes. Can you please help me understand exactly what the fee I pay every month is used for?
The Fire District receives 4 mill Tax each year based on real property within the District boundaries, from the County which is set by State Legislation. So, of the 96.35 mill tax we pay to the County, A person owning a home valued at $130,000.00, provides $39.55 a year, which is 4 mill tax less homestead exemption, to the District. If that same person is 65 years old, the District receives only $22.00 a year.
Last year the District received a total of $187,718.00.
Without fire fees we could not provide the citizens with the quality of protection we do. We also wouldn’t have a town class 6 insurance rating that saves the citizens money on insurance.
That same $130,000.00 home being in Hancock County other than Diamondhead, Waveland, or Bay St. Louis will pay premiums of $3,037.00 a year. Because, that person lives in Diamondhead, he pays only $1,316.00 a year, a saving of $1,721.00. A $150,000.00 house saves $1,989.00 a year.
Thank you so much for the response. I thought that having a fire department in close proximity would be the primary benefit to paying the fee. And I am glad to know that I am saving money on insurance. Again, I really appreciate the you taking the time to respond.