The Coastal Star

Boca Raton: Proposed budget lowers tax rate while increasing fire fee

By Sallie James

  Property taxes will hold the line if city officials approve the proposed tax rate for 2017-2018.
  However, residents could be asked to pay $125 for the city’s fire services fee, up from the current $105.
  City Manager Leif Ahnell proposed a tax rate of $3.6788 per $1,000 of assessed property value at the July 25 council meeting. The rate is slightly lower than last year’s rate of $3.6789.
  Under the proposed tax rate, the owner of a $300,000 single-family home would pay about $1,103 in municipal property taxes, slightly less than a year ago.
  Council member Robert Weinroth expressed concern about the proposed increase in the fire fee.
  “I’m just concerned with the trajectory of this fee,” he said. “I think we increased it by $20 last year and this would be another $20 increase. Where are we headed with this kind of fee going forward?”
  Ahnell said the fire fee hikes are due to increased costs and planned Fire Rescue Services Department expansion, a dynamic that could continue to be a factor in coming years.
  “I’m not going to sit here and tell you it’s not going to go up in the future,” Ahnell said.
  Residents will have a chance to ask questions about the budget at 6 p.m. Sept. 11 during a public budget hearing at City Hall, 201 W. Palmetto Park Road.

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