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“Insurance companies aren’t charities and they are going to protect their profit margins,” said Mr. Andrews, who is chairman of the council’s Public Safety Committee and said the issue was first debated in 2003. “It’s wrong to charge anyone for an emergency service. It should be paid for by taxes and it is paid for by taxes.”

The Montgomery County Volunteer Fire-Rescue Association led the 2010 petition effort defeating the fee and is seriously considering another petition this year.

The group has already cleared petition language with the county Board of Elections.

According to county law, petitioners would have until Aug. 26 to submit 31,046 signatures from Montgomery voters - a number equal to 5 percent of registered county voters when Mr. Leggett signed the bill into law May 28.