Fire Services Assessment
Frequently Asked Questions.
For a link to the current Fire Assessment click HERE.
Is the Fire Services Assessment a new fee?
Yes. This is the first year Milton property owners will be responsible for the assessment fee.
Are Fire Services Assessments common?
Yes. In 2012 over 30% of Florida municipalities had active Fire Services Assessment Fees.
What is the purpose of the Fire Services Assessment?
The fire services assessment will be used to pay for a portion of fire services, facilities, and programs for assessed properties within the City of Milton.
How is the Fire Services Assessment calculated?
The fee is assessed through the use of a two tier method.
Tier I, every parcel within the City limit, pays an equitable portion of the Fire Department’s budget which has been determined to accurately reflect the costs associated with keeping a full time, professional staff in constant readiness. This is a set fee. Every parcel pays the same amount.
Tier II, every parcel that has been improved upon, pays an equitable portion of the Fire Department’s budget which has been accurately determined to reflect the costs associated with actual provision of service. This fee differs per parcel and reflects the replacement value of the improvements on a parcel as compared to the replacement value of all improvements within the City.
What is an "improved property" under assessment guidelines?
"Improved Property” is a parcel that has a building and or other structure on it. This does not relate specifically to improvements such as window replacements and interior renovations made to any of the structures located on a parcel.
How Does the Fire Services Assessment Benefit Me?
Revenue from Fire Assessments will only be used for the provision of fire protection services. This includes improvements to your local fire station’s equipment, apparatus and training levels, thereby increasing their ability to serve your needs. This also makes your property eligible for lower fire insurance rates through improved Insurance Service Office (ISO) ratings.
Future Fire Services Assessment funds will be utilized to help improve staffing at the fire station, replace old equipment, and to better serve you. Milton citizens, visitors and businesses receive the benefits of full service Fire Rescue capabilities including: Medical First Response, Extrication, Hazardous Materials Operations, Disaster Response Mitigation, Fire Prevention, Public Education and Fire Suppression, regardless of where you live or operate your business.
The Fire Services Assessments can also help to provide for accountability in tracking revenue and expenditures for fire service within the community.
What is the assessment amount for unimproved, vacant, and agricultural land?
Every parcel falls under Tier I and as such pays an equal amount of the costs of the Fire Department's readiness. The Tier I fee amount in 2016 are approximately $40.00 for the entire year.
What is the assessment amount for improved parcels?
The Tier II fee amounts reflect approximately $.08 per $1000.00 of replacement value as per the most current Santa Rosa County Property Appraiser data.
What about the cost of incidents that cannot be connected to a specific property within the City of Milton, like accidents?
All non-specific property use incidents cannot legally be included in a Fire Services Assessment. All mutual aid incidents given by the City Fire Department will not be assessed either.
The average Fire Department Budget from the years 2012-2015 has been utilized to determine the Assessable amount.
The average annual percentage of non-specific and given incidents is approximately 20% as per fire department incident reports. The equivalent amount was removed from the average Fire Department budget figure prior to calculating assessment amounts.
The City is assessing less than 17% of the entire Fire Department’s budget. Those costs associated with non-specific incidents and mutual aid do not necessarily reflect any real shift in assessable fee amounts.
Will barns, sheds, and other out accessory type buildings/structures be charged under the fire assessment program?
Yes. The property Appraiser has calculated the replacement value of many accessory structures and as such these type of improvements are reflected in the Tier II fee amounts.
What period of time does the fire assessment cover and when will the assessment be payable?
The fire rescue assessment fee will be re-imposed annually at the City Councils discretion and it will cover the City’s fiscal year. It will be payable as part of your tax bill next year. This year it will be sent to you as a bill.
What will happen if I do not pay the assessment?
The City of Milton will be using the tax bill collection method; Florida law requires that ad valorem taxes and accompanying fire rescue assessments be paid at the same time. If you do not pay your taxes and the Fire Services Assessment, the tax collector may issue a tax certificate against your property resulting in a loss of title. Fees not paid this year will be included in next year’s fees which will appear on your tax bill.
If I do not pay taxes now due to the homestead exemption or other exemptions, will I have to pay the special assessment?
Yes. Special assessments are statutorily different than taxes and the fire rescue special assessment applies to all residential and all non-residential property uses, regardless of homestead exemption status.
What if the Information contained on the assessment notice is incorrect? How can I get it corrected?
If the information on the notice is incorrect a Grievance Sheet will need to be filled out. City of Milton staff will research the issue. The appropriate corrections will be made to the assessment roll before certifying it to the Tax Collector for placement on the following tax bill.
Where can I see what my fee will be?
If you follow the link below you will be able to search for your fee.
Where can I get more information?
City Hall is located at 6738 Dixon Street, Milton, Florida.
You can also call the Planning and Development Department at: 1(850) 983-5440