County Commissioners To Vote On Fire Assessment Fee
Alachua County leaders are thinking about implementing a fire fee for the entire county, but not everyone is fired up about it.
Residents living in the unincorporated part of the county already pay a fee based on property taxes, but that existing fee may soon be extinguished.
A proposed fire assessment fee is in the hands of county commissioners, who plan to vote on it Tuesday. That vote could change the way and how much people pay in taxes.
Commissioners will decide if charging a fee to those living in the unincorporated part of the county would benefit the public safety department, something Chief Ed Bailey says is vital to keep current services.
"This is just to sustain services for fire and rescue in Alachua County," Bailey said. "It's not to enhance. It's not to build up or anything. It's just to keep the firetrucks on the road, providing fire suppression and first response emergency medical services."
Chief Bailey says the county would do away with the current MSTU rates, which are set depending on property taxes.
Fire fees would be set according to the size of the home and the proximity to a station meaning homes of the same size and relative location would pay the same. This would apply to commercial areas too.
Commissioners will vote Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. on whether to move forward with this proposal. If they do, notices will be sent to homeowners and businesses.
A vote on the final assessment is scheduled for late June.
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