Cape Coral property owners are receiving their public notices for the FY 2015 Fire Protection Service Assessment. City Council approved a "not to exceed" recovery amount for fire services of 64 percent. Property owners should note that the amount can be reduced at the future public hearings to adopt the City's FY 2015 budget. The public hearings are at 5:05 p.m. on Sept. 4 and Sept. 18.
Revenue diversification measures were implemented in 2013 to provide much-needed funds to begin restoring the City's long-neglected capital needs and other services, city officials said.
The fire protection service assessment was one of those measures. A promise was made to the citizens that the additional annual funding needed would be about $150 for the average homeowner ($100,000 taxable value). To ensure this promise is kept, the fire protection service assessment will be adjusted as necessary. This is why the notices indicate the amount is a "not to exceed" amount. The fire assessment may be lowered when the budget is adopted.
The City's fire protection service assessment methodology was adopted by City Council in July 2013 and validated by the Circuit Court in December 2013. The court's decision currently is being appealed to the Florida Supreme Court by a small group of residents. A ruling is expected in the near future, and the City is optimistic of a successful outcome. Because of the Circuit Court ruling, the City has the authority to bill and collect the annual fire protection service assessment. Funds are being held in escrow pending the decision from the Florida Supreme Court. Questions about the fire protection service assessment should be directed to the Assessment Coordinator at (239) 242-3851.
Source: City of Cape Coral