A self-storage operator in Brooksville, Fla., has joined forces with other business owners to fight a city fee for fire department services.
Diane Bernick, owner of Broad and Wiscon Self Storage, and other area business owners have pooled together their resources to hire an attorney to fight what they claim are additional taxes.
Fire fees were approved by the Brooksville City Council this summer to offset the fire services paid through the city’s general fund. The fees would supply roughly 40 percent of the fire department’s $1.6 million budget. During the public hearings, the council agreed to lower the tax rate to minimize the impact. Then three of the five council members backtracked, agreeing to keep the tax levy at last year’s rate, which would generate $2,517,273. The decision was made after council members agreed to cancel the red light camera program, and lost the potential for hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual revenue.
While it's too late to reverse the fire-assessment fees, the council can choose to lower the tax levy as originally planned. The Brooksville City Council will hold a public hearing Sept. 8.