Common questions are being asked by City Residents as public hearing approaches.
WEST PALM BEACH, FLA (August 21, 2019)
– In the days since the proposed Fire Assessment was announced several common questions have been asked by City residents. To help citizens of West Palm Beach fully understand the proposed assessment, here (in no specific order) are the most asked questions to date:
- I got word of an assessment for a property I’ve just sold. Do I have to pay it? Answer: Many former property owners have received notice of an assessment on a property they have recently sold. If you sold your property sometime during the current tax year, you will receive a pro-rated assessment based on the portion of the year you owned the property. The exact amount will be added to this year’s tax bill, you do not have to pay an extra fee.
- I have a single-family home with a detached “mother in law” apartment in the back. Do I pay for one home or for two? Answer: If you have two discrete living units on your property, you must pay the fire assessment on EACH unit.
- I have a very small studio condo. Why do I pay as much as a large, multi-room home? Answer: The assessment is not connected to the size of the home or number of rooms. The amount of fire equipment and personnel sent to your home in case of a fire call will be similar to what is sent to a larger home. Therefore, the assessment is based on the number of homes you own, not the size.
- Is the assessment an additional $100 dollars over the existing $50 for a total of $150 dollars? Answer: NO, it NOT an additional $100-dollar charge. It is an additional $50 dollars for a total of $100 dollars per dwelling. You do NOT need to pay the charge immediately; it will be combined with your regular City tax bill.
- What does the assessment help pay for? Answer: The assessment will be used to help buy new and better fire fighting equipment, facilities and training programs.
The proposed fire assessment is not yet certain. A public meeting on the subject will be held at City Hall August 26 at 5 PM. If you believe there is an error in the number of properties being used to calculate your fee, please contact Laurie Padgett at the West Palm Beach Fire Department, 561-804-4719.
For more information on The City of West Palm Beach, visit www.wpb.org/about
or call 561-822-1200 TTY 800-955-8771.