County Commissioners Cut Fire Tax over Firefighter Objections

Ocala Star Bannner, 02 August 2011



This is when it began. The county commisioners decided that not only would they suspend regular raises, but also that they would purposefully put MCFR into deficit spending. 


This is what they wanted, and now it is time to fix it. 


"Marion County commissioners on Tuesday approved the maximum property tax rate for next year, over the protests of county firefighters who opposed the commission's plan to reduce the local firefighting tax.


"The firefighters' union had maintained that cutting the tax rate would provide only minimal savings — about 68 cents for the average taxpayer — while threatening the department's service to the public.


Graff added that the changes might not be felt immediately by the county's decision to “voluntarily” reduce its revenue flow, but such a move would affect the department's performance in the near future.


In response, Commissioner Kathy Bryant argued that the fire budget had a “substantial overage,” reaching some $2.4 million.


“We have thoughtfully done this and checked all the numbers,” Bryant said.


“In no way shape or form is that going to affect the level of service that the citizens of Marion County receive from their fire department.”