PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Panama City Commissioners might raise the controversial fire assessment tax they passed on to property owners in 2020.
During Tuesday morning’s commission meeting they voted to tentatively increase both tiers of the fee.
The amount that’s imposed on every land parcel in the city would go up about $8, to $184 and 78 cents per year.
The other tier, which imposes amounts based on property values, would go up 7 cents to $1 and 59 cents for every $1,000 in property value.
That’s a 4.62% increase.
The proposed increase passed by a 3-to-2 vote.
Commissioners Jenna Haligas and Josh Street voted against it.
“I was here when we voted on the fire tax,” Haligas said. “The only reason I voted on that was because we were in desperate. Now here we are here and we’re getting strong,” Haligas said.
The fire assessment has been extremely unpopular with most Panama City land-owners.
It might get even more unpopular.
“There is a slight increase, but there is always going to be adjustments to it according to the value of the property,” Panama City Mayor Greg Brudnicki said.
It could also get better. Commissioners could lower the amount as they begin the budget process.