Wisconsin Department of Commerce Newsletter
September 2003
2% Fire Dues Checks Distributed to Municipalities

The Department of Commerce distributed $12.2 million in payments to all Wisconsin municipalities from the Fire Dues Fund on August 1. This fund is comprised of 2% of fire insurance premiums collected in Wisconsin in the past year. Cities, villages and towns are responsible for providing or contracting with a fire department or fire departments to provide fire protection and prevention services that satisfy a number of criteria specified in statute and administrative code. The funds are distributed to cities, villages and towns who comply with these criteria.

The amount available for distribution on August 1, 2003 was $12.2 million. This represents an increase of more than $2 million over the 2002 distribution. Money was prorated for each municipality using that municipality’s percentage of the state’s equalized value of property improvements.

Municipalities use funds for the vehicles, fire protection equipment, and  fire education services such as brochures, props, and other items to promote fire safety in a community. It can also be used for fire-inspection-related training seminars, tuition, books, and travel; fire inspection services (e.g. wages and benefits, contracting for fire inspection services, etc.); and as a supplement to firefighter retirement programs sponsored by the local municipality.

At this year's Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs’ Convention, Commerce shared information on the municipal disbursement with the chiefs. Included in each chief’s packet was a copy of the letter sent to municipal clerks and treasurers detailing the breakdown of funds to that municipality and identifying the fire departments in each municipality. We hope this increased communication leads to a better understanding of the 2% Dues distribution process.

If you have questions about the 2% Fire Dues Fund, please contact your district Fire Protection Coordinator. Or you can contact me directly at 608/267-9360 or by email at ccliff@commerce.state.wi.us.

--Cathy M. Cliff

The newsletter is issued electronically every other month.

Please send comments or questions to Barbro McGinn, editor.

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