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For media inquiries, please call 941-861-NEWS (6397) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The public should call 941-861-5000 for information about any county business. Sarasota County government routinely advises the media of upcoming meetings, events and news.
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Public meetings on fire assessments
Sarasota County Emergency Services has updated the methodology for determining fire assessments and is inviting the community to learn about the proposed changes. Fire assessments are charges imposed against real property to fund the fire services provided to citizens.
Current fire assessment rates and methodology remain unchanged since 2003. During that time the county experienced tremendous growth across all areas of commercial, residential, and multi-family properties. Based upon an initiative to update the fire assessment program, a review of fire department service delivery and historical emergency incident data identified the need to update the assessment methodology. The new methodology accounts for the growth and shifts in fire department responses which results in reductions to some property classifications and increase to other property classifications.
The new change in methodology will include government buildings and removes special agricultural zones, reducing the number of classifications from four to three. The assessment will also only include primary structures and not out buildings such as barns, sheds and similar structures.
Sarasota County is committed to keeping the public involved and up-to-date throughout the process. On May 23, the Sarasota County Commission approved the updated methodology as well as the initial rate resolution. The not to exceed assessment rates were affirmed on July 12 with the approval to move forward with TRIM notifications scheduled for mailing on Aug. 18. Residents will receive this notice of proposed taxes with the new fire assessment fees that will be assessed on their tax bill mailed in November. Commissioners will decide the final fire assessment rates at the public hearing for final budget adoption on Sept. 11.
Residents may attend any or all of the following public meetings to learn more, ask questions, and provide comments. Meetings will take place from 6-7 p.m., on the following dates at these locations:
- Aug. 24: Fire Station No. 10, 35 Vic Edwards Road, Sarasota.
- Aug. 29: Gulf Gate Library, 7112 Curtiss Ave., Sarasota.
- Aug. 31: Fire Station No. 16, 5875 Hummingbird Ave., Sarasota
- Sept. 5: Fire Station No. 1, 1445 4th St., Sarasota.
- Sept. 7: Fire Station No. 22, 4531 Englewood Road, Venice.
For more information, call the Sarasota County Contact Center at 941-861-5000.