Police and Fire Sales Tax

The West Fargo voters passed a half-cent sales tax increase during the 2022 general election to diversify funding for police and fire department's operations, equipment and buildings. This funding can not be used for anything else.

The sales tax increase is expected to go into effect July 1, 2023. The official confirmation will be made available on the North Dakota Office of the State Tax Commissioner's website.

Sales Tax Purpose:

The West Fargo Police and Fire Departments' budgets are two of the largest budgets in the City of West Fargo that are funded with property taxes. The sales tax increase will diversify these public safety departments' funding.

The purpose of the proposed sales tax increase is to:

  • Share costs with visitors who utilize public safety services but don't pay property taxes.
  • Provide an additional revenue stream for public safety departments, currently dependent on property taxes for funding.
  • Keep the capital infrastructure sales tax fund more targeted:

Public Safety Funding Need:

The West Fargo Police and Fire Departments are seeing a rise in financial need that outpaces the current property tax levels due to:

  • Increasing number of calls for service
  • West Fargo’s increasing population
  • Growing school district
  • Expanding visitor appeal

The issues that these departments need to address are:

  • Patrol Staffing - increase minimum levels of staffing to ensure adequate responses to priority calls for service
  • Fire Response - In 2021, there were 239 times with no fire companies available for emergency response due to ongoing calls for service
  • Add resources like patrol staff, firefighters, and mobile equipment to better respond to major incidents at high capacity locations and events
  • Emergency Response - Response times for fire and medical calls are slower than national standards due to lack of crews.