Destin Fire Control District Tax Levy Cap Question (May 2013)

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A Destin Fire Control District Tax Levy Cap proposal was overwhelmingly defeated on the May 14, 2013, election ballot in Okaloosa County, which is in Florida.

If approved, this measure would have authorized the Destin Fire Control District to increase the tax levy rate cap from the current 1 mill ($1 per $1,000 of assessed valuation) for 3.75 mills ($3.75 per $1,000 of assessed valuation) in order to fund the operation and maintenance of the district, facilities, equipment, personnel and services. District commissioners claim that they will only raise the tax rate to 1.12 mills as that is all they need.[1]

Election results

Destin Fire Referendum
Defeatedd No1,68580.73%
Yes 402 19.26%
These results are from Okaloosa County elections office

Text of measure

Language on the ballot:

To operate and maintain the Destin Fire Control District's current Facilities, Fire Rescue, Advanced Life Support and Beach Rescue Services for the citizens of the District, shall the District be allowed to change the millage cap from the current rate of 1.0 mills, approved in 1971, to 3.75 mills as authorized by Chapter 191, Florida Statute. Your elected Commissioners set the millage rate annually, which determines the rate you pay, during publically open budgeting processes.

Yes, for approval

No, for rejection[1][2]


District commissioners argue that increasing the millage cap is needed to offset budget shortfalls due to decreasing property values and maintain the current levels of service while avoiding a budget deficit.[3][4]


Opponents argue that there is no reason to raise the tax levy cap to 3.75 mills if all the district needs is 1.12 mills and that this measure gives the commission too much flexibility to raise taxes in the future without voter consent.[4]

Mike Buckingham, the only commissioner to vote against putting this measure on the ballot, said, “What bothers me the most is that they went for the 3.75 instead of 1.50."[3]

See also

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 Okaloosa County May 14, 2013 Sample Ballot
  2. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  3. 3.0 3.1 [1]
  4. 4.0 4.1 Cease Fire? Residents take a stand against Fire District millage cap hike