Sunday, May 27, 2018
News Roundup

Brooksville council to issue notice about fire fee

BROOKSVILLE — Last fall, the Brooksville City Council voted to implement the city's first-ever fire assessment, with the hope it would raise about $380,000 to help pay for fire service.

But three months after the fee notices were mailed, a large number of property owners remain delinquent on what they owe. According to figures presented during a council workshop Tuesday night, the city has collected just 64 percent of the fees that are owed, leaving a shortfall of $138,328.

City officials now have to decide how hard they want to lean on delinquent property owners to get the remaining amount. Council members discussed several options before deciding to send a second letter to the delinquent offenders, along with a warning that a penalty will be added if the fees are not paid by June 1.

"We can't let it go too long or we'll end up losing money," said Mayor Lara Bradburn, who worried that the city will have a difficult time collecting the money if it waits and tacks the unpaid fees onto property owners' 2013-14 tax bills.

Although council members didn't take action Tuesday, they agreed on the idea of adding the 10 percent penalty to any assessment that isn't paid by the June 1 deadline.

Although adopted last June by the City Council, the new two-tiered assessment could not be implemented until it was validated in Circuit Court. By the time the validation period passed, it was too late to add the fees to the 2012-13 property tax notices sent out by the county Tax Collector's Office. In November, the city mailed assessment notices to 3,950 property owners, who had until Jan. 15 to pay the fees before they became delinquent.

Council member Frankie Burnett speculated that because of the newness of the assessment, some property owners, especially those who aren't residents of the city, might not have been aware that they owed the fees.

"Those bills didn't go out until November, and maybe some people just didn't pay attention to them," said Burnett. "They probably just need a little extra reminder."

The assessment will be reviewed annually by the council. The 2012-13 rate included a $71 flat fee, plus 52 cents per $1,000 of improvements on parcels, with the exception of religious establishments and nonprofit organizations. A property owner with $100,000 worth of improvements was assessed $52 on the improvements, plus the $71 flat fee, for a total of $123.

Starting this year, the annual city assessment will be included on county-issued property tax bills.

Logan Neill can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1435.

Comments
Rays journal: Reliever Austin Pruitt pitches nearly six scoreless innings for second career save

Rays journal: Reliever Austin Pruitt pitches nearly six scoreless innings for second career save

ST. PETERSBURG — Rays RHP Austin Pruitt has started and worked out of the bullpen, in both short and long relief.But he did not expect to pick up his second career save Sunday by having to log 5⅔ innings, allowing only three hits whi...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Floodwaters surge in Maryland town

Floodwaters surge in Maryland town

Crews were engaged in multiple water rescues and buildings collapsed in historic Ellicott City on Sunday evening as floodwaters raged through its streets following torrential thunderstorms, Howard County, Maryland, officials said.Maryland Gov. Larry ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rick Stroud’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Orioles game

Rick Stroud’s takeaways from Sunday’s Rays-Orioles game

So the team that just got back from a 10-day, 11-game road trip in three time zones is headed back out west for Memorial Day? The Rays travel to Oakland, Calif., Seattle and Washington, D.C. It's the first time they visited the West Coast on back-to-...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rays bats come alive with six-run rally to beat Orioles 8-3

Rays bats come alive with six-run rally to beat Orioles 8-3

ST. PETERSBURG — If you think the Rays are holding their pitching staff together with baling wire, duct tape and an overbooked shuttle to Triple-A Durham, a bigger story might be how their bats keep producing runs no matter who is swinging them...
Updated: 6 hours ago
RFK’s son: There was 2nd shooter

RFK’s son: There was 2nd shooter

Los Angeles Times (TNS)As the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy approaches, conspiracy theories still abound.The latest to back the theory of a second gunman is the senator’s son Robert F. Kennedy Jr.Sirhan B. Sirhan, a ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Visa woes have summer businesses hiring Puerto Ricans

Visa woes have summer businesses hiring Puerto Ricans

PHIPPSBURG, Maine — Frustrated by red tape and visa limits on foreign workers, tourism businesses from Maine to Missouri are turning to Puerto Ricans who are fleeing a shattered economy and devastation caused by Hurricane Maria. Bob Smith, owner of S...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Troopers looking for driver in New Port Richey fatal hit-and-run

Troopers looking for driver in New Port Richey fatal hit-and-run

NEW PORT RICHEYDriver surrenders after crash that kills bicyclistThe driver Florida Highway Patrol troopers say struck and killed a bicyclist then drove from the scene turned herself in Sunday afternoon.Shanna Marie Rampino surrendered a 2000 Toyota ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
A solemn display

A solemn display

Associated PressVisitors to Boston Commons in Boston last week pass 37,000 American flags planted to honor every Massachusetts resident killed in war dating to the Revolutionary War. The "flag garden" idea on Memorial Day started in Boston about a de...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Former President George H.W. Bush hospitalized in Maine

Former President George H.W. Bush hospitalized in Maine

BIDDEFORD, Maine — Former President George H.W. Bush was hospitalized Sunday in Maine after he experienced low blood pressure and fatigue, a spokesman said. Just after 2 p.m., Jim McGrath, a spokesman for the 93-year-old Bush, said he was awak...
Updated: 11 hours ago
None injured in Trinity rehab center fire

None injured in Trinity rehab center fire

TRINITY — No one was hurt Sunday morning after a fire broke out at a rehabilitation center.According to Pasco County Fire Rescue, Trinity Regional Rehab Center at 2144 Welbilt Blvd. is running on generator power after the blaze broke out about 10:30 ...
Updated: 11 hours ago