1. #1
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    Post DAvie Fire Fees May Rise

    Davie fire fee may rise

    By Thomas Monnay
    Staff Writer
    Posted August 17 2003

    Davie A proposal to almost double the annual fire-rescue fee assessed to single-family homes is not being well received by Town Council members, some of whom call it excessive.

    The Davie Fire-Rescue Department wants the fee raised from $37.94 to $75.06. Businesses, which are assessed based on their sizes, also would pay more.


    "It needs to be lowered a little bit," Mayor Tom Truex said. "I would be surprised if that dramatic increase is approved."

    Council members on Monday are scheduled to discuss the increase as well as the proposed $68.1 million budget for fiscal year 2003-04. A second workshop is scheduled for Aug. 26.

    The town's property tax rate would remain at $5.11 per $1,000 of assessed property value.

    The owner of a $100,000 home taking the $25,000 homestead exemption would pay $383.25 in taxes.

    The fire assessment rate has not been increased since it was levied in 1997, according to Fire Chief Don Dipetrillo.

    He said the current rate is the second lowest after Hallandale Beach, but that city wants to increase its assessment from $30.35 to $70 a year.

    "It's a fair assessment," Dipetrillo said. "As a homeowner, I'm willing to pay for that assessment. I'm getting a new fire station. I'm increasing my fire service by 25 percent."

    The proposal would generate $3.72 million, which would go toward staffing and operating a $2.5 million fire station the town is building on one acre at Oaks Road and State Road 7 in eastern Davie.

    Dipetrillo said his department plans to hire 16 firefighters and four support positions for the new station, to be completed by October of next year.

    The station and another one proposed for western Davie are part of a $16.5 million bond voters approved in March to upgrade fire structures throughout the town.

    A portion of the bond will pay for upgrading four existing fire stations with equipment, plus moving one of them to a better site.

    Dipetrillo said the western fire station would be completed in October 2006.

    He said the proposed increase "is a follow up to the fire-rescue bond," which pays only for infrastructure improvements. ``Everybody is going to get an increase no matter what," he said.

    Thomas Monnay can be reached at tmonnay@sun-sentinel.com or 954-385-7924.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  2. #2
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    Davie expects slightly higher tax bills
    BY SAMUEL P. NITZE
    snitze@herald.com

    Most Davie homeowners are likely to pay a few dollars more in town property taxes this year under the town's proposed budget even though the proposed tax rate is the same as it has been for years.

    The hike is the result of higher property assessments.

    But town officials have also proposed a sharp increase in the annual fire-rescue fees, which do not vary with the price of a home.

    The town's proposed $68 million operating budget calls for a tax rate of $5.11 per $1,000 of taxable assessed value. It has not changed for at least seven years.

    The budget will be considered at a public hearing Wednesday night.

    The Town Council expects to approve an annual fire assessment of $58 to $62 per single-family home, up from $37.94. The average residential fire assessment in Broward County is $91, town officials said.

    The extra money would support the fire department's plan to hire about 20 additional employees, 16 of them firefighters, said Assistant Town Administrator Ken Cohen.

    On Aug. 6, the Town Council proposed an annual fire-rescue fee of $75.09, an increase of almost 100 percent. But after two public budget workshop meetings, council members reduced the proposed charge.

    To make up the difference, the council expects to approve some minor budget cuts, stagger the hiring dates of some fire department personnel, or some combination of the two, Mayor Tom Truex said.

    The town's debt service charge, levied to cover borrowing for parks, a public-safety complex and other voter-approved projects, would drop roughly 20 percent, from about 64 cents to 51 cents per $1,000 of taxable assessed value.

    If the proposed budget is approved, the owner of a home assessed at $175,000 and who takes the standard $25,000 homestead exemption would owe about $843 in local property taxes this year, including debt service. That is about $4 more than last year, assuming the home's assessment rose 2.4 percent, the maximum allowed on most properties.

    Property taxes levied by other authorities, including the county government, school system and hospital district, are additional.

    Even with a level tax rate, Davie will generate millions of dollars in additional tax revenue during the coming fiscal year, which will begin Oct. 1.

    Rising assessments and new development drove the total value of all taxable property in the town from about $4 billion to almost $4.7 billion last year, according to county records.

    The additional tax revenue will help cover increases in town employees' salaries and benefits, Cohen said.

    The first of two public hearing on the budget and proposed fees is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday at Town Hall, 6591 Orange Dr. The second will take place two weeks later.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

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