Fire Service Fees

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On July 1, 2000 the Upshur County Commission enacted the Upshur County Fire Service Fee Ordinance. West Virginia Code Chapter 7, Article 17 Section 12 as amended, provides the Upshur County Commission with the authority to impose reasonable fire service rates, fees and charges. The fees assessed are a debt due the Upshur County Commission. The Sheriff in the capacity as Treasurer is responsible for the collections of special fees imposed by the county, therefore, our office acts as the collector for the Upshur County Fire Fee. The Upshur County Fire Board has a Fire Fee Clerk located within our office for the purpose of Fire Fee collections and management.

Fire Fee Statement Tutorial:

Fire Fee Tutorial PIC

In an effort to reduce costs and maximize return to the seven Volunteer Fire Departments, beginning January 1, 2020,  Fire Fee receipts will only be provided in person or if a self-addressed-stamped envelope is provided with payment.  Credit card receipts will still be available when paying online.

Contact Information:

Toni Newman, Upshur County Fire Fee Clerk
Office Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00am — 4:00pm.
Phone: 304-473-2902 Fax: 304-472-0937 
Address: 38 W. Main Street · Room 101
Buckhannon, WV 26201

What is the fee structure? **See Ordinance for specifics
$  5.00 — vacant property parcels of 5 acres or greater
$25.00 — residential building
$25.00 — residential rental / per unit
$50.00 — commercial or institutional buildings

When is the fire fee due?

It is due when you receive the statement (the week of July 15th).  It must be paid no later than October 1st to prevent it from being turned over to the magistrate for collection.

Why should I pay this fee when I live so far out? You won’t be able to save my home.

The fee is used to provide more than just fire protection.  These are the same people who respond to motor vehicle accidents, EMS assists, lost person searches, trees down, high water, and much more.

Where does this money go?

The Fire Fee Clerk located in the Sheriff’s Tax Office reconciles all collections for the month. A request for payment is sent to the Upshur County Clerk’s Office. Their bookkeeping department issues a check to the Upshur County Board, Inc. The Fire Board pays expenses of administration and maintains a reserve fund then distributes the money to the various volunteer fire departments in Upshur County.

Is the fire fee an optional donation?

No, this fee is part of WV state Code implemented by the Upshur County Commission.  It is not associated with any individual fire department fundraising that would be optional

Request to be on Agenda— Voicing of Complaints about Fire Fees

All request to be place on the agenda of the Upshur County Fire Board, Inc. should be directed to Toni Newman, Upshur County Fire Fee Clerk at 304-473-2902.

Where do I make Fire Fee Payments?

All fire fee payments should be made payable to: Sheriff of Upshur County 
Mail or bring payments to: 38 W. Main Street Room 101·Buckhannon, WV 26201

Can I pay over the phone and do you accept credit/debit cards?

Yes! You can pay with a credit/debit card (a surcharge is added by the credit card company).

Can I combine my fire fee payments with my tax remittance onto one check?

Tax monies must be maintained separately from other monies, therefore, our office does request fire fee remittances on separate checks.

Are my fire fees paid by my mortgage company when they pay my taxes?

Generally mortgage companies do not pay fire service fees when they pay from your mortgage escrow accounts. You should always verify to see what you individual mortgage company has done.

Why am I being sued for delinquent unpaid fire service fees?

The Upshur County Fire Board/Upshur County Commission does seek civil action against those who have not paid their annual fire fees. This procedure is managed by the Fire Fee Clerk located within our office. General assessment and billing questions can be answered by the Fire Fee Clerk. If you have questions or complaints about the validity of the Fire Fee Ordinance you will need to request to be on the agenda of the Upshur County Fire Board, Inc.

My bill is inaccurate. I should not be billed for a Fire Service Fee.

If you feel your bill is inaccurate or you should not have been billed at all, you can request a relief of erroneous assessment. This form is here on our website. You can fill it out, sign it and then mail or fax it to our office. You can also obtain a copy in our office. This form will need to be reviewed by the Upshur County Assessor, it then goes to the Upshur County Fire Board for approval or denial. You will be notified by the Fire Fee Clerk of the final decision. You have the right to appear before the Upshur County Fire Board to state your position about the request.