Three public meetings scheduled for presentations about proposed increases in Sarasota County fire assessments for 2024 fiscal year

Sessions offered at various locations countywide

This chart was presented to the County Commission in late May. Image courtesy Sarasota County

Sarasota County staff is inviting the public to learn about the updated fire assessment methodology process, as well as the proposed rates for Fiscal Year 2024.

“To keep pace with the growing demand for fire services to residential and non-residential locations,” a news release explains, “the county continually pursues areas of enhancements in the level of emergency services” provided by the Fire Department. Each year, fire assessment rates and property taxes are evaluated as part of the budget process, to ensure that the county has sufficient funding for fire protection services, the release adds.

The department’s proposed 2024 fiscal year budget includes recommendations for several public safety enhancements, “including additional staffing, construction of a new fire station, renovation of two existing fire stations, advancements in technology and a thorough review of service delivery,” the release notes.

These public safety enhancements necessitate the following increases which are approximate, the release says:

  • $2.81 per monthfor an average 2,500-square-foot home.
  • $3.89 per monthfor an average 1,600-square-foot multi-family residence.
  • $21.17 per monthfor an average 10,000-square-foot non-residential building.

The department staff is not recommending any increases in the EMS ad valorem rate, which provides for the emergency medical services provided by the county, the release points out.

Residents may attend any or all the following public meetings to learn more about the changes to the fire assessment rates and the methodology used, and to provide comments or ask questions, the release says. The meetings are planned to last one hour, beginning at 5:30 p.m., on the following dates:

  • Aug. 28 —William H. Jervey, Jr. Venice Public Library, located at 300 Nokomis Ave. S. in Venice.
  • Aug. 30 —Gulf Gate Public Library, standing at 7112 Curtiss Ave. in Sarasota.
  • Aug. 31 —Betty J. Johnson North Sarasota Public Library, located at 2801 Newtown Blvd. in Sarasota.

“Fire assessments are the primary funding mechanism for the provision of fire protection services in unincorporated areas of Sarasota County and the City of Sarasota,” the release explains. The fees are based on the square footage of a building; charges are imposed against real property.

On Sept. 11, the Sarasota County Commission will vote on the final fire assessment rates for the 2024 fiscal year.

For more information, call 311 or visit