Churches Beware .. In Lehigh Acres
The Fire District say this “It is the intent of the Board of Fire Commissioners to exempt those properties that are currently exempt from property taxes under the ad valorem taxing methodology, as long as said properties are classified appropriately as being exempt.”
But the law is this:
A Florida appeals court has ruled that churches can be required to pay assessments only if their property is directly benefited. The court concluded that fees imposed on churches for fire and rescue met the definition of assessment and therefore could be assessed against a church consistently with the church’s exemption from property tax. The court also pointed out that the churches in question were prevented from challenging these assessments since they had paid them without protest for twenty years.
The only way is to modify the law, is for the Board of the Lehigh Acres Fire District to approve a non-revocable resolution stating that they the board will exempt those properties that are currently exempt from property taxes if the tax assessment is passed.