Annexation Information

The information below was prepared by the Authority for your review as you go through the process of deciding who to use for your family’s fire and medical protection. If you need additional information or have any questions, please contact Deputy Chief Kane Nixon at (623) 544-5400.
CLICK HERE to access a Property Tax Calculator to estimate how the tax increase proposed in the Arizona Fire & Medical Authority's proposed budget for FY2023/24 will impact your tax obligation.

 Why would the Buckeye Valley Fire District, North County or South County Fire & Medical District's consider increasing the size of their service areas?

Service enhancements and inflationary cost increases have a negative tax impact on District property owners. The District Governing Boards have successfully minimized these negative tax effects by systematically broadening their service areas / tax base. Also, due to service agreements with neighboring fire departments, the Fire & Medical District's would be required to provide service to unincorporated properties located near existing or future Arizona Fire & Medical Authority (Buckeye Valley Fire District, North/South County Fire & Medical District's) Fire Stations. These areas are consequently pursued for District annexation.
The Authority/Fire District’s unsurpassed service delivery and lower tax rates have continued to validate the District’s current annexation program.

 Benefits of Fire District Annexation

Special Districts Provide Focused, Property Owner Driven Service
A fire district is a form of special district of the State, formed for the protection of persons and property (Arizona Revised Statutes – Title 48 – Special Taxing Districts). Special districts deliver only the public programs and public facilities that their constituents want. Cities provide multiple programs, some of them mandated by the federal and statement governments. Special districts provide focused service delivery throughout their boundaries providing a single service (i.e. emergency services) allowing them to concentrate and excel at that activity unlike municipalities which provide a variety of services throughout their boundaries. Special districts provide the public services that the public wants and localizes the costs and benefits of public services.
Some special district advantages:
  • Special districts tailor services to meet local needs. Cities must provide many services regardless of citizen demand. Special districts, however, only provide the services that their property owners desire.
  • Special districts link costs to benefits. General purpose local governments --- cities --- levy general taxes to pay for public services. The services that taxpayers receive are not directly related to the amount of taxes they pay. In a special district, only those who benefit from the district’s services pay for them. Those who do not benefit do not pay.
  • Special districts respond to their constituents. Because most special districts are geographically smaller and have fewer residents than cities, they’re typically more responsive to their constituents. Small groups of citizens can be quite effective in influencing a special district's decisions.
Benefits of Fire District Annexation
  • Safety:
    Annexation into the Buckeye Valley Fire District and North County or South County Fire & Medical District's is about protecting the safety of your family and home.   
    • Emergency services from fire stations located just minutes from your property
    • Timely Authority ambulance service - in a medical emergency every second counts (Tonopah area residents receive their ambulance services from the Buckeye Valley Fire District).
  • Financial Savings & Value:
    • Lower premiums for property insurance is likely 
    • Ability to sell your home or land - the housing market is already difficult enough. Why make it more difficult by trying to sell a house with no dedicated fire service, which means buyers may not be able to obtain a mortgage or homeowner's insurance?
    • Ability to deduct Fire District taxes from your income taxes
  • Equity and Stability in Fire/EMS Provider:
    • All District property owners pay for emergency services in an equitable manner - with subscription-based services, only those who pay are subsidizing the cost of everyone's fire coverage.
    • Permanent fire coverage
    • Ability to vote for District and Authority Board members (or run for a seat on the Board) and have a say in the decisions of the District and Authority.

 Do Maricopa County property owners living outside of unincorporated cities/towns pay less to develop/build on their property?

The Authority and its member district's urge you to take the time to visit with the nearest city/town to the area where you plan to build and compare the building/construction costs (i.e. permits, plans review, sewer and water fees, impact fees, etc.) with those of Maricopa County and the Arizona Fire & Medical Authority.

 Can I receive Buckeye Valley Fire District, North County / South County Fire & Medical District Services Now?

Single Parcel Annexation Information
Any property owner whose property is contiguous with any of the Authority'sl District borders may request that the District Governing Board amend the District’s boundaries to include their property. You don't have to wait for the outcome of an annexation petition drive. Within four weeks of the date of your personal annexation request, you can be receiving your emergency services from the Arizona Fire & Medical Authority. 
Emergency Services Contract
Property owners whose property is not contiguous with the current Fire District boundaries may be able to receive most Authority/District services via a temporary Contract for Emergency Services. This temporary agreement could provide protection to these property owners until such time as a full District annexation becomes available.
For more information or to initiate either of these simple and quick processes, please contact Division Chief Kane Nixon by calling (623) 544-5400.

 What do I have to do to for my property to be considered for annexation?

District annexations are governed by Arizona Revised Statue §48-262 and involve a reasonably simple process. Interested property owners are encouraged to contact the Authority Administrative Office at (623)544-5400 for further information and/or guidance and assistance concerning the annexation process.

 Frequently Asked Annexation Questions

What is a County Island?
As most of the property owners in proposed annexation areas are aware, a county island is an area of unincorporated land which is completely surrounded by a city or town. These areas remain under county jurisdiction and are referred to as county islands. County island property owners typically acquire their own water, sewer, trash and other desired services and many times at less cost than if their property were located within a city or town.
Arizona law prevents the creation of any new county islands. While annexation of large areas of undeveloped land is a relatively simple task for cities and towns, it is more complex when an annexation involves multiple property owners, and more complicated yet when the annexation involves land already developed. There are actually many county islands within Maricopa County. Some of these areas are large enough to have their own names such as Anthem, Buckeye Valley, New River, Rio Verde, Sun City West, Sun Lakes, Tonopah and Wittmann. The property owners of many of these county islands have successfully thwarted annexation attempts by neighboring cities or towns over the years. Each one of these large county islands is fortunate to be able to obtain emergency services from a locally controlled and operated fire district. However, emergency fire and EMS options are very limited for many other county island areas.

What is a Fire District?
Fire districts are special taxing districts and are independent of any city or county government. They provide service to multiple geographical areas which may include rural and/or unincorporated county areas and one or more municipalities. 

Fire district are governed by non-partisan boards elected at large by the registered voters of the district. Board members are elected to alternating four-year terms so there are at least two members elected every two years. The Board establishes policy and approves the annual budget. As a special district of the State, fire districts must comply with all applicable Arizona Revised Statutes such as the Open Meeting Laws. 
Why should property owners consider annexing into the Buckeye Valley Fire District, North County or South County Fire & Medical District's?
  • The District's offer a high quality alternative to annexing into a neighboring municipality or contracting with a private company in order to obtain emergency services.
  • District residents and property owners receive state-of- the-art fire/rescue protection and emergency medical services from the Arizona Fire & Medical Authority. Authority apparatus are staffed with certified emergency Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Through existing automatic-aid and mutual-aid agreements with most Valley fire departments, Authority/District residents typically receive emergency services from the closest fire station to their emergency. 
  • The District's have earned the prestigious ISO Public Protection Classification (PPC) rating of 1 from the Insurance Services Office (ISO), indicating an exemplary ability to respond to fires. The Class 1 ISO rating places North County and South County among an elite group of agencies. The Public Protection Classification (PPC) rating of one (1) places the Fire District's in the top 1% of the 36,000+ fire departments nationally (1 = Best Fire Protection; 10 = No Fire Protection). This top tier rating is used to determine your fire insurance premium rate. A low rate can yield significant insurance cost savings for property owners.

 Arizona Fire District Annexation, Consolidation and Merger Statutes

  • The Arizona Revised Statute that governs Fire District annexations (A.R.S. § 48-262).
  • The Arizona Revised Statute that governs Fire District Consolidations (A.R.S. § 48-822).
  • The Arizona Revised Statute that governs Fire District Mergers (A.R.S. § 48-820).

Dial 9-1-1

For All Emergencies
Official website for the Arizona Fire & Medical Authority, the Buckeye Valley Fire District, the North County Fire & Medical District, and the South County Fire & Medical District.
Phone: (623) 544-5400 | Email:
18818 N. Spanish Garden Drive, Sun City West, Arizona 85375