Up to eight properties located in Madison the City are being taxed double for fire protection and officials are currently exploring the best option for the property owners after concerns were raised by the South Madison Fire District. 

The properties located along North Old Canton Road were originally in the South Madison Fire District when the boundaries were created and later annexed into the city of Madison. 

Board Attorney Katie Bryant Snell told supervisors at their last meeting in December that the owners are paying a “double tax for essentially the same service.”

Earlier in December, the board instructed Snell to begin a de-annexation process to remove the properties from the SMFD. 

John Scanlon, an attorney representing the SMFD, said their board had not had a meeting yet concerning the de-annexation but had some concerns about moving forward in that direction. 

Scanlon said it was his understanding those properties are located within three miles of a SMFD fire station and more than five miles away from a Madison fire station. 

Scanlon said if they were to be de-annexed, it was his understanding the current Class 6 fire rating would automatically jump to a Class 10 rating, the highest in the state.

“It would result in higher insurance premiums for those eight houses,” he said. 

He said there may not be any opposition from the SMFD but they haven’t had an opportunity to address it and asked the board hold off on any decision. 

“I don’t believe, in principle, in concept, they would oppose with the exception of noting the fire rating being worsened,” Scanlon said. 

District 4 Supervisor David Bishop asked if the property owners were aware that their rating would jump from a Class 6 to a Class 10. 

Scanlon said that was his understanding of the fire rating and said he wasn’t aware what the property owners knew.

“Six and 10 is quite a bit of money,” Bishop responded.

Snell said they weren’t 100 percent certain the fire rating would be lowered and what effect, if any, a de-annexation would have other than lowering the tax threshold. 

Scanlon reaffirmed he couldn’t give it certainty either, just that was his understanding. 

Gluckstadt Fire Chief Henry Davis said he spoke with someone at the state’s rating bureau at this year’s fire conference and it was explained to him that anything over five miles is considered a Class 10. 

“We need to make sure they’re not going to end up being a Class 10,” he said. 

Board President Sheila Jones, who initially brought up the topic the first week of December, then made a motion to table to issue so they can continue to research before voting.