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The Florida Supreme Court has affirmed another apportionment methodology for fire services assessments. This means that now there are two Court-approved methodologies: the long-standing historical demand methodology and the new two-tiered methodology that allows local governments to use the value of structures as a method to allocate a portion of the costs of providing fire services. This Court decision does not invalidate current fire assessment methodologies (which have also been approved by the Florida Supreme Court), but provides an alternative methodology to apportion the costs paid by property owners.

The two-tiered methodology is not for everyone, it includes the mandatory imposition of the assessment on all unimproved land (vacant and agricultural properties) and the uniform application of a base charge to all properties (e.g., box stores and quarter-acre vacant lots will pay the same base charge). The value-based component of the methodology may involve more complexity in the database development due to the consistency of the data available from the ad valorem tax roll.

Now that this alternative methodology has been “blessed” by the Florida Supreme Court, GSG will offer it to all clients in addition to the traditional methodology based on historical fire calls.

If you’re interested in learning how this approach compares to the historical demand methodology relative to your jurisdiction, GSG can conduct an analysis of the pros and cons between your existing methodology and this newly approved methodology. We have developed an interactive database that will allow you to review and analyze the impacts of both methodologies on a tax parcel basis.

As GSG is the leader in shaping case law regarding special assessments in Florida, don’t hesitate to contact us for a scope of services and proposed fee or to explore further options.

Who We Are

Government Services Group, Inc. (GSG), is a Florida based consulting firm specializing in local, state and federal government stormwater, water & wastewater, grants management, community development, fire services, revenue enhancement, and program administration. We are comprised of 3 divisions: Community Services Division, Government Services Division and Municipal Services Division. GSG’s team of highly experienced professionals provide specialized services across all divisions. GSG offers a unique perspective because we have worked in government and in the private sector for both large and small entities. Not only have we been in our clients’ shoes, we have been in their communities and neighborhoods.

Our Structure

GSG Structure

During our 19 years of service, 60 counties, 89 cities, 15 special districts and the Federal Government have experienced benefits. We currently serve 160 clients in the Southeast. For nearly 16 years, we have managed one of the largest government entities in Florida that services more than 120,000 customer connections.  We are the contract administrator with the Department of Defense for a 50-year contract to manage all water and sewer utility assets at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. In addition, GSG has developed and maintains 78 assessment databases for 28 counties, 26 cities and 9 special districts consisting of 4.6 million records. These databases are used to generate over $111 million in annual revenue for GSG clients. GSG has also worked with over 100 fire departments in the state to develop alternatives for funding fire services. GSG professionals span throughout Florida, including team members in Orlando, Key West, Gainesville and its headquarters in Tallahassee. Whenever local, state and federal government has a need, GSG is ready to be part of the solution.