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City Offers HELP on Fire Assessment Fees

City Offers H.E.L.P. On Fire Assessment Fees For Those That Qualify

The City of Boynton Beach offers a waiver through H.E.L.P. (Hardship Extension Loan Program), to qualified resident property owners who may have difficulty paying the FY2016/17 annual Fire Assessment Fee of $100.

Eligible homeowners include:

  • Residential property owners who meet the 2016 US Department of Health and Human Services poverty guidelines;
  • Residential property owners who are exempt from ad valorem taxes because they are totally disabled veterans; a surviving spouse of a totally disabled veteran; disabled veterans confined to a wheelchair; or totally, or permanently, disabled;
  • Residential property owners that qualify for the additional Homestead Exemption for persons 65 and over; and
  • Residential property owners that are qualified under the Florida Homestead Property Tax Deferral Act. 

APPLICATION: A completed application and any required documents must be filed with the City of Boynton Beach no later than October 18, 2016 to be considered. 

Residents may apply for assistance by pdf downloading and completing a H.E.L.P. application. Hard copies are available at the following City facilities:  City Hall, Boynton Beach City Library, Senior Center, Civic Center, Ezell Hester, Jr. Center Community Center and Carolyn Sims Center. 

Completed applications must be submitted by October 18, 2016.

For further questions, please call the Finance Department at 561.742.6310.

GENERAL QUESTIONS REGARDING THE FY2016/17 FIRE ASSESSMENT

How much is the fire assessment?
The fire assessment fee depends on property use. For residential property, the annual rate is $100.00 per dwelling unit or $8.33 per month. For non-residential property, the annual rate is calculated on a square foot basis according to the following use categories:

 Use Categories  Rate Per Square Foot
 Commercial  $ 0.23
 Industrial/Warehouse  $ 0.05
 Institutional/Nursing Home  $ 0.25

 *There is a maximum of 77,001 square foot cap on non-residential buildings.

What is the total fire assessment revenue the City will receive in FY2016/17?
For the coming FY2016/17, the City estimates it will receive a net amount of about $6,542,093; reduced to a net realized assessment of $5,644,884 after excluding tax exempt properties.

Why isn’t the fire assessment just included in the property tax rate?
There are two reasons that the fire assessment isn’t included in the property tax rate. First, it would require an increase of about 1.41 mills on the ad valorem tax rate.  For example, a homeowner with a $100,000 taxable value on their house would see an additional $141 on their property tax bill versus the $100.00 noted above. Second, there are large numbers of homeowners that do not pay any property taxes, yet they are still protected by fire rescue services; with the fire assessment, those residential properties share equally in paying for services.