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SENATE BILL NO. 264
INTRODUCED BY P. EKEGREN
A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT ALLOWING A COUNTY
TO ASSESS FEES ON
COUNTY RURAL REAL PROPERTY FOR FIRE PROTECTION; ALLOWING FIRE SERVICE
AREAS TO COLLECT A FEE FOR FIRE PROTECTION ON RURAL REAL PROPERTY IN
ADDITION TO STRUCTURES WITHIN FIRE SERVICE AREAS; AMENDING SECTIONS
SECTION 7-33-2209 AND 7-33-2404, MCA; AND PROVIDING AN IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVE
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
Section 1. Section 7-33-2209, MCA, is amended to read: "7-33-2209. Finance of fire control activities. (1) The county governing body is authorized to
appropriate funds for the purchase, care, and maintenance of firefighting equipment or for the payment
of wages in prevention, detection, and suppression of fires. (2) (a) If the general fund is budgeted to the full limit, the county governing body may, at any time
fixed by law for levy and assessment of taxes, levy a tax of up to 2 mills or at a rate that will raise
$15,000, whichever is higher. (b) In addition to or in place of the tax authorized in subsection (2)(a), the county governing body
may, if approved by a majority vote of those entitled to vote, assess a fee on all rural real property in
the county in an amount that the county governing body determines is necessary to adequately fund
county rural fire protection."
Section 1. Section 7-33-2404, MCA, is amended to read:
"7-33-2404. Financing of fire service area -- fee on structures. (1)
(a) In the resolution creating
the fire service area and by resolution as necessary after creation of the fire service area, the board of
county commissioners shall:
(A) establish a schedule of rates to be charged owners of structures that are benefited by the services
offered by the fire service area
(B) ESTABLISH A SCHEDULE OF FEES TO BE ASSESSED ON ALL RURAL REAL PROPERTY THAT IS IN THE FIRE SERVICE AREA AND THAT RECEIVES FIRE PROTECTION BENEFITS. THE FEE MUST BE APPROVED BY A MAJORITY OF THE QUALIFIED ELECTORS IN THE FIRE SERVICE AREA.
(b) In addition to or in place of the rate authorized in subsection (1)(a) on structures, the board of
county commissioners may, if approved by a majority vote of those entitled to vote, assess a fee on all
rural real property in the fire service area that receives fire protection benefits in an amount that the
board of county commissioners determines is necessary to adequately fund county fire protection in the
fire service area.
(2) The rates must be applied on a fair and equal basis to all classes of structures OR TO ALL RURAL REAL PROPERTY benefited by the fire service area.
(3) The board of county commissioners shall, IF AUTHORIZED AS PROVIDED BY LAW, collect
the funds necessary to operate the fire service area by charging the area rate as a special assessment on
the owners of structures
and OR, if applicable, the area fee provided for in subsection (1)(b) as a
special assessment on rural real property and shall collect the assessments with the general taxes of the
county. The assessments are a lien on the assessed property.
(4) The board of county commissioners or the trustees, if the fire service area is governed by trustees under 7-33-2403, may pledge the income of the fire service area to secure financing necessary to procure equipment and buildings to house the equipment. The outstanding amount of the indebtedness may not exceed 18% of the taxable valuation of the area."
NEW SECTION. Section 2. Effective date. [This act] is effective on passage and approval.
- END -
Latest Version of SB 264 (SB0264.02)
Processed for the Web on February 19, 1999 (2:51PM)
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