Helt questions Crestview's proposed fire assessment fee

Published: Saturday, July 19, 2014 at 05:07 PM.

BUSINESS DETERRENT

The proposed fire assessment would deter business growth, Helt contended. For example, based on the Crestview Wal-Mart’s 200,000 square footage, its fire assessment would be $54,000 a year, substantially higher than its 2013 $29,586 city tax bill, she said.

The assessment would undo the council’s efforts, such as eliminating some impact fees, to lure businesses to town, Helt said.

“For a TJ Maxx or a Ross, that would be cost-prohibitive and make them look elsewhere if they are considering Crestview,” Helt said. “And what about the mom-and-pop start-ups?”

Councilman Tom Gordon said his interest in the fee was that it would spread the cost of fire protection equitably over all property owners and lower the millage rate for tax-paying homeowners.

“The only way I can support the assessment is if it gives the taxpayer an overall lower cost of living in the city of Crestview,” Gordon said. “If you cause the cost of business to go up where there is no ad valorem rate adjustment, they’ll raise prices or go somewhere else.”

FAIRNESS FOR ALL



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