Council: Detailed budget review necessary, fire tax loses traction

Published: Tuesday, August 5, 2014 at 03:40 PM.

CRESTVIEW — The City Council launched its review of the city’s 2014-15 budget at a Monday evening workshop dominated by discussion of the proposed fire assessment.

The proposed $29 million budget is balanced, City Clerk Betsy Roy said, and includes a 3 percent increase in expenditures over the current fiscal year.

FIRE ASSESSMENT

Councilman Mickey Rytman said a proposed fire assessment — which would levy a fee on all the city's commercial and residential properties — would stymie business development while hurting residents on fixed incomes.

“Seeing another fire assessment tax on commercial development, I don't want to see that happen,” Rytman said. “I hate to put a burden on people.”

Council President Shannon Hayes said the assessment makes provisions for low-income residents, allowing them to apply for an exemption or reduction in the fee.

“What bothers me is the ones who aren't paying anything,” Hayes said.



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