Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Brooksville fire chief offers fire fees options

BROOKSVILLE — City Council members exploring alternative ways of getting Brooksville residents and businesses to pay their fair share toward fire services next year got a clearer picture of how that might happen at a budget workshop Tuesday.

Fire Chief Tim Mossgrove, who has been working the past several months on the city's plan to establish a municipal services benefit unit, said fire fees could significantly reduce taxes while providing a fair method of ensuring everyone pays for the service.

Mossgrove presented two proposals to the council — one that would raise $1.2 million from a full assessment of all eligible properties, and a 50 percent assessment that would raise about $700,000 for the city — with the hope of offering a broader view of revenue potential.

According to 2009 tax statistics, homeowners would pay a base rate of $143.52 a year, or $11.96 a month, regardless of the size of their home to fully fund fire service. Coupled with a base fee of $8.99, the total cost would be $152.51 per home.

However, most council members said that a full assessment the first year might prove risky in that projections could fall short of meeting the fire department's estimated $1.7 million budget.

"I'd prefer to see it at 50 percent the first year so we can determine whether the projections are right," Council member Joe Bernardini said. "After that, we can give it another look."

As it stands, many of the city's low-value homes are tax-exempt. So are government buildings and churches. Under a 50 percent assessment, non-exempt government buildings would pay 3.8 cents per square foot. Churches would be assessed 2.5 cents per square foot. And each residence would pay a $76 yearly assessment.

City officials said that not funding fire protection through the general fund would allow them to pass some savings back to taxpayers by lowering the mill levy about 4 mills — something that also could help attract businesses to the area.

Bernardini said that at the very least, a fire assessment would enable potential businesses a way of comparing rates with those of the county.

"It would be an apples-to-apples comparison," he said. "It could make us look good up against what the county would charge them."

The council is expected to vote on whether to implement fire assessments when it meets on Monday.

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

Brooksville fire chief offers fire fees options 06/16/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 16, 2010 7:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Astros rout Yankees to force Game 7 of AL Championship Series


    HOUSTON — Justin Verlander pitched seven shutout innings to outduel Luis Severino for the second time, and the Astros bats came alive in their return home as Houston routed the Yankees 7-1 Friday night and forced a decisive Game 7 in the American League Championship Series.

    The Astros’ Brian McCann, who has struggled during the ALCS, breaks a scoreless tie with an RBI double during the fifth inning off Yankees starter Luis Severino.
  2. Review: Faith Hill and Tim McGraw shower love, star power on Tampa's Amalie Arena


    Near the end of their potent new duet Break First, Tim McGraw stopped singing, and let Faith Hill's powerhouse voice take over.

    Faith Hill and Tim McGraw performed at Amalie Arena in Tampa on Oct. 20, 2017.
  3. Senate to take up AUMF debate as Trump defends reaction to Niger attack


    WASHINGTON — The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is taking up a long-awaited debate about authorizing military force against the Islamic State as President Trump comes under unprecedented public scrutiny for his treatment of dead soldiers' families, following an ambush on troops helping to fight Islamic …

  4. In fear and vigilance, a Tampa neighborhood holds its breath


    TAMPA — There was a time, not long ago, when Wayne Capaz would go for a stroll at night and Christina Rodriguez would shop whenever she wanted. Michael Fuller would go to his night job as a line cook, not too worried about his wife at home.

    More than 50 people gathered and walked in the Southeast Seminole Heights community Friday to pay respects to the victims of three shootings. The crowd took a moment of silence at the corner of 11th Street and East New Orleans where Monica Hoffa was found dead. [JONATHAN CAPRIEL  |  Times]
  5. Fennelly: What's not to like about Lightning's start?

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — No one is engraving the Stanley Cup. No one has begun stuffing the league MVP ballot box for Nikita Kucherov.

    The Lightning, with a win tonight, would match the best start in franchise history, 7-1-1 in the 2003-04 Cup season.