Leonardtown Volunteer Fire Department to Host Public Hearing to Discuss Increase of Fire Tax Rate

January 25, 2024

(Vote passed with no nays) On Tuesday, January 23, 2024, the Leonardtown Volunteer Fire Department requested authorization from St. Mary’s County Commissioners to hold a public hearing and meetings to discuss a Fire Tax rate increase.

This increase would go from the current rate of 0.024, to $0.056 which equates to $111.54 per household yearly, or $9.30 a month.

This fire tax has been 0.024 since it was established in 1990.

The maximum Fire Tax Rate is currently .056., Ridge, Mechanicsville, and Leonardtown VFD’s all requested meetings on 1/23/2024 to discuss their fire tax rate being increased to the maximum rate.

The vote passed with all yeses and no opposing votes with public meetings/discussions being held February 2nd and 9th, 2024, with the public hearing on February 14th, 2024, at 6:30 p.m., located at the Leonardtown Volunteer Fire Department, with public comment ending Feb.21st.

Additional information will be provided on the meetings/discussions along with their set dates, times, and location soon.

Leonardtown VFD currently has 84 members with their average call volume from the last 5 years being 769 calls.

Operational cost and maintenance/support which has significantly increased.

  • PPE (gear, SCBA, and protective equipment) increased 40% since 2019
  • Fuel increased 20% (over the past 5 years)
  • Facility cost, maintenance and support increased 7.5% over the past 3 years.

The current firehouse was built in 1964 and does not meet the needs of today’s membership or living arrangements. Intent is to build capital, seek new property, build a new firehouse to meet their needs and acquire replacement/new apparatus.