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Fire tax nixed for Nassau County

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Updated: 7/02/2013 11:09 pm

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. -- Nassau County taxpayers won't be charged a fee for fire service, after all. 

The county is looking at options to overcome a $12 million hole. On the table, was a fire tax that would add up to $217 to a property owner's annual bill, regardless of how big or small the house is. 

During a meeting held Monday, the Nassau County Board of Commissioners voted 4 to 1 not to support the fire tax. Instead, County Commissioner Steve Kelley tells Action News they voted to raise the millage rate, a half a mill. He says that should bring $3-$4 million to the county. However, that won't cover the $12 million shortfall, which is why he says he voted against it. 

Kelley says he questions how the county plans to come up with that money, but believes they can do it by cutting spending.

"Over the last two years the county commissioners have put over $19 million worth of projects on the Capitol Improvement Projects and now we're surprised because the staff tells us we're $9 million short?" said Kelley.

The commission did agree that next year, they could face another shortfall, if they don't create new sources of revenue. 

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