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City of Panama City passes fire assessment tax in a four to one vote

Panama City

PANAMA CITY Fla. (WMBB) — Dozens of residents turned up at Monday morning’s commission meeting to try and convince their elected leaders not to impose the proposed fire assessment tax.

Despite their efforts – the commission chose to adopt the ordinance in a four to one vote.

Commissioner Mike Nichols was the only one who voted no.

He said he is still unsure of what will happen with the ad valorem taxes at next week’s budget meeting.

“I champion that if we do apply a fire assessment which I think is a fair balance assessment for all of our community tax payers,” said Nichols. “We also need to lower the ad valorem.”

Mayor Greg Brudnicki says implementing the tax is best for the city. He says the 4.6 million dollars they will collect from this tax will help pay for 55 percent of the cost to maintain the fire and safety department and allow the city to spend that money elsewhere.

“Our goal, my goal is to get values up and drive the millage down,” said Brudnicki. “And this is one of the things that we need to do right now so we can continue to remain under one concern.”

The mayor said this tax will also be applied to the 27 percent of residents who currently don’t pay a property tax. Taking the burden off the other 73 percent.

The City of Panama City is holding its final budget meeting Monday September 21 at 5 p.m. where the official budget for the 2021 fiscal year will be decided.

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