One fire fee or two in Brooksville? Which you prefer depends on where you live

The Brooksville City Council is deciding on a change in its annual assessments, trying to find a more equitable way for residents to pay for their fire department. images (1)

The option that council members preferred earlier this summer, however, likely will not feel so equitable to those facing the biggest change. Among them are people living in apartments and in mobile home parks on land they lease, including more than 700 individuals and families in the Clover Leaf Farms retirement community on North Broad Street.

The entire Clover Leaf community, for instance, pays roughly $1,700 per year for its fire assessment. Under the new plan, called the “on-demand” system, that fee would jump to $120,000. For the first time, each lot in the park would get a separate assessment, all funneled onto the park owner’s property tax bill, city consultants explained. The park owner is expected to pass that cost onto residents.

Apartment dwellers and owners would be taxed under the same system.

Only the property owner would get a mailing that explains the change, however.

Officials estimate there are more than 1,000 impacted mobile homes and apartments in Brooksville.

The on-demand system would charge a single fee for fire services: one fee for lots with buildings; a lower fee for vacant lots; and a fee based on square footage for commercial, industrial and institutional properties.

Brooksville residents currently pay for their fire service in two parts. They pay a tax based on the value of their property, plus a flat assessment fee.

Be Sociable, Share!