Fire Department Looks to Abandon Ad Valorem Taxes and Use Assessment Fees Instead
According the Lehigh Acres Fire and Rescue Board Attorney Richard Pringle a bill is being prepared by State Representative Matt Caldwell and State Rep. Garrett Richter to be introduced in the Florida Legislature that would allow fire districts to level an assessment fee that would not only cover operations of the department, but also help fund emergency services such as ambulance calls.
Pringle said that the bill to allow the funding change would “abandon ad valorem taxes and use assessment fees” to fund fire districts. Gov. Scott has asked the Legislature to look into all special districts in the state and the way they are being funded. The Governor Scott has said that the way funding now occurs goes back several years in to what he has called “pioneer days.”
Larry Becker Chairman of the board said there would be a referendum for the voters to decide whether or not to amend the bill to change the way special districts such as the local fire department can gather revenue to operate.