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PALM HARBOR // Emergency services tax cap raised

Residents on Tuesday agreed to raise the ceiling on the tax they pay for fire and rescue services.

The final tally from the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Office shows 54 percent voted in favor of increasing the fire tax cap, and 46 percent voted against it.

With the approval, the tax cap in the Palm Harbor Special Fire Control District goes from 1.5 to 2 mills, or $2 for every $1,000 of taxable property value.

"Evidently the people we reached got out and voted," said Irene Rausch, chairwoman of the commission that manages the district's four fire stations.

Fire officials had said that without the increase, the district faced closing a station and laying off firefighters.

About 19 percent of Palm Harbor's 38,706 registered voters cast a ballot in the referendum, according to the elections office.