Around where I live, the volunteer fire company donation is also optional. They will always come to your house if you call 911 in need of help, however, if you didn't make the donation that year, you get charged at least four figures for their services. The donation is a bargain, and you'd be an idiot not to pay it. "South Fulton's mayor said that the fire department can't let homeowners pay the fee on the spot, because the only people who would pay would be those whose homes are on fire." It's almost like buying health insurance only when you get sick, how would the insurance (or fire) company survive?