PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — Escambia County commissioners met Thursday morning to discuss the possibility of raising taxes to fund the fire department.
County leaders said there’s been significant growth in recent years which means an increased demand for fire services.
Currently, the fire department is funded through a Municipal Services Benefit Unit where each household pays $125 annually in the unincorporated areas of the county. One option is to change that annual amount to $175 per household.
Some commissioners support the idea of getting rid of the annual fee and instead implementing a half-cent sales tax which means tourists would help generate the needed revenue.
“I think that would be much preferable to the average citizen of Escambia County,” said Escambia County Commission Chairman Jeff Bergosh. “Tell them look we’re gonna raise more money. Out-of-towners are going to pay for most of it. You’ll pay for some. When you go to the grocery store, you’ll pay a little bit more but you won’t pay that $125 on your tax bill. Let’s be smart about it.”
Commissioners hope to have this on the ballot for voters to decide in November.