The proposed 2018 rate request is an increase of $25 per residential property and ten cents or less per square foot for all other properties
The City of West Palm Beach City Commission will consider a Resolution No. 201-18 during a public hearing on August 27, 2018, at 5:00 p.m., or as soon thereafter as can be heard, in Commission Chambers for an annual assessment for fire services for the fiscal year October 1, 2018 – September 30, 2019.
The proposed 2018 rate request is an increase of $25 per residential property and ten cents or less per square foot for all other properties. This increase is necessary to generate additional revenue of approximately $2 million. Since 2013, an additional 40 firefighters have been added after the City received grant funds covering 75% of their salaries and benefits. The additional costs for bunker gear, trucks, and fire station accommodations will continue to increase the City of West Palm Beach General Fund expenses without the increase in the Fire Assessment Fee. This is not a tax, and therefore, the assessment fees apply to all residential property.
The proposed assessment is to fund fire services for all properties. Current and proposed assessments compared to other regional utilities are listed below.
Fire Assessment Fee: Current Rates (2017)
- Residential: $25.00 per dwelling unit
- Commercial: $0.03 per sq. foot
- Industrial/Warehouse $0.01 per sq. foot
- Institutional: $0.04 per sq. foot
- Nursing Home: $0.10 per sq. foot
Fire Assessment Fee: Proposed Increase (2018-2019) Resolution No. 201-18 proposes an increase in the assessment fee for 2018 as follows:
- Residential: $50 per dwelling unit
- Commercial: $.06 per sq. foot
- Industrial/Warehouse: $0.02 per sq. foot
- Institutional: $0.08 per sq. foot
- Nursing Home: $0.20 per sq. foot
What Are Other Cities Charging?
- Boca Raton: $125
- Boynton Beach: $120
- Coral Springs: $180
- Hollywood: $222
- Pompano Beach: $163
- Tamarac: $350
- Deerfield Beach: $175
- Ft. Lauderdale: $256
- Lake County: $175
Resolution No. 201-18, including the proposed assessment, will be available a week prior to the meeting at http://wpb.org/Meetings-Events/City-Commission-Meeting-Agendas/City-Commission-Meeting-Agendas.
Fire suppression, prevention and other fire services provide a special benefit to properties by protecting the value and integrity of improvements to real property and protecting the use and enjoyment of such property. The availability of comprehensive fire services reduces the cost of fire insurance and enhances the market perception and property values. An annual recurring Fire Services special assessment program for properties within the City was established in 2008.