CHARLESTON – Mingo County State Senator Truman Chafin is pushing a bill that would amend the surcharge on fire and casualty insurance policies to one percent.
This surcharge would benefit volunteer and part-time fire departments in West Virginia. The Senate Bill is No. 483 and Chafin said it would help rural counties like Mingo with funding for fire departments.
Just last Saturday voters in Mingo County did not approve a new levy that would have provided funds for fire departments. The levy would have raised taxes. This is the second time it has been on the ballot and not been approved.
“I chaired a study of the volunteer fire departments in West Virginia a couple sessions ago,” Chafin said. “There are 420 volunteer fire departments and approximately 9,000 volunteer firefighters. The departments provide invaluable services to our great state and without funding from the property and causality insurance premiums they could not survive and thus keep insurance low and protect our families.”
“This bill will provide an additional $22 million dollars to the 420 fire departments,” Chafin said. “It would be divided equally if it passes.”
“This will allow for the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters and keep our departments funded for critical equipment such as Jaws of Life, fire equipment and bunker gear,” Chafin said.
“We call upon of volunteer firefighters to everything from traffic accidents to chemical spills and we appreciate all they do for so many,” Chafin concluded.