The New South Wales Government is considering a new tax for property owners as part of an overhaul to how emergency services are funded.
Currently a tax on insurance companies provides about 74 per cent of the funding for Fire and Rescue NSW, the State Emergency Service and the Rural Fire Service.
The remaining costs are covered by the State Government and local councils.
But Treasurer Mike Baird says the system is unfair, because property owners who insure their homes are subsidising those who do not.
He says it also contributes to higher insurance premiums.
“It is a fair thing to ask that everyone in the state contribute to the provision of emergency services, rather than just a proportion of them,” Mr Baird said.
“So we’re asking for everyone to contribute, not just those that take out insurance, and we think that is a fairer thing for every family in the state and we think it is a better way to design a levy.”
The Government is now seeking community feedback on the plan, with a three-month consultation period on a discussion paper that is being released today.
Mr Baird is adamant there will be no change to the overall level of funding for emergency services.