The City of Brooksville established a dedicated funding source for the provision of fire protection services and facilities through the imposition of non-ad valorem assessments, sometimes referred to as special assessments, against certain real property located within the City limits. The annual fire assessment began in 2012 and continues from year to year.
The special assessments are allocated among assessable tax parcels according to a two tiered methodology pursuant to which a portion of the costs attributable to the City’s continual readiness to provide fire protections services will be shared equally among all tax parcels on a per parcel basis (Tier 2), and a portion of the remaining costs will be shared in accordance with the relative value of improvements for each parcel in the City as compared to the value of improvements for all parcels in the City (Tier 1).
As part of this process, a public hearing was held at 7:00 p.m. on September 8, 2014, in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 201 Howell Avenue, Brooksville, Florida 34601 to receive public comment on adoption of the assessment roll for Fiscal Year 2014-15. All affected property owners had the right to appear at the hearing and to file written comments or objections with the City within twenty days of the notice of the public hearing.
The special assessment will fund in part the costs associated with providing fire protection services and facilities for Fiscal Year 2014-15, which begins October 1, 2014. The remainder of the fire protection budget will be funded with other legally available revenues of the City. The combination of funding sources offers a significant tax equity tool which reduces dependence on property taxes alone as the sole source of funding for fire protection services, reduces the demand on the City's other legally available funds, and achieves a more equitable, balanced, sustainable and dedicated means of funding the City Fire Department's service mission over time.
The fire assessment for Fiscal Year 2014-15 will be collected by the Hernando County Tax Collector pursuant to the tax bill collection method authorized by Section 197.3632, Florida Statutes,and may include fees imposed by the county property appraiser and tax collector and may be adjusted as necessary to account for any statutory discounts which are necessitated when employing the efficiencies of collecting the assessments annually on the same bill as property taxes.
The Fiscal Year 2014-15 fire assessment for each tax parcel will be assessed a unit rate of $.80 per $1,000 of the value of improvements (not land value) attributed to the tax parcel by the county property appraiser (Tier 1) plus (ii) $80 per tax parcel (Tier 2). In addition, the 2014 fire assessment for each parcel will include any payment delinquency associated with that parcel from 2012. The dollar amount of the special assessment attributable to each tax parcel is available by clicking here or by visiting the offices of the City Clerk, located at City Hall, 201 Howell Avenue, Brooksville, Florida.
The City does not intend to impose the fire assessment against schools or similarly owned parcels, or on submerged or other parcels determined to be exempted. The costs of these exemptions are to be paid from sources other than the special assessments.
This overview is intended to inform all constituents about the City's efforts to effectively budget and use a blend of legally available revenues to meet its fire service obligations, reduce costs, be efficient and continue to provide a reasonable level of service. The mission of the City's Fire Department is to always stand ready to protect the lives and property of the community through exemplary fire education, prevention, suppression and associated emergency rescue services. This special assessment provides a supplemental and dedicated means to accomplish these responsibilities.