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Fire Service Costs May Increase in Unincorporated Clearwater

Lower property values could mean higher costs for some residents, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Six areas of unincorporated Pinellas County, including unincorporated Clearwater, may pay more for fire service next year, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

The county does not have its own fire department, so residents in unincorporated Pinellas receive fire service through 12 fire districts. The contracts provide fire service to about 17.2 percent of the county's 916,719 residents, according to the Times.

In unincorporated Clearwater, property values have dropped by about 6 percent while operating costs have jumped by $150,000, County Administrator Bob LaSala told the Times. LaSala has proposed raising the fire tax rate for residents there by about 20.7 percent, from $2.66 per thousand dollars of assessed, taxable property value to $3.21.

Unincorporated Dunedin, Largo, Safety Harbor, South Pasadena and Tierra Verde could also see their fire tax rate increase next year, the Times reports.

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