Commission approves some compromise on assessment

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By Lou Elliott Jones

Property owners will be billed higher assessments for fire and emergency medical services in their 2012 tax bills. 

On Tuesday evening, before a full room, the Levy County Commission approved a $90 residential assessment for fire services by a 4-1 vote with Commissioner Mike Joyner of Morriston (R-District 1) dissenting and $119 residential assessment for EMS by a unanimous vote.

The fire assessment was a compromise by the commission after eight people spoke against the proposed hike from $40 to $100 in the fire fee. The EMS fee will rise from $76.

Joyner voted against the fire fee saying it could be lower. But the entire board said they felt the decision on setting assessments was a balance between funding the services from an assessment which all property owners pay, or from property tax millage, where 55 percent of residential property owners pay $200 or less leaving the other 45 percent to support the services provided to all residents.

“This gives everybody some skin in the game,” said Commissioner Chad Johnson of Chiefland (R-District 2).