Fire Assessment

Special Assessments are used by many local governments throughout Florida to assure that this essential service is adequately funded. Unlike a tax, a special assessment must be developed to recover each property’s proportionate share of the costs and can only be used to fund fire services.

Fire Assessment Memorandum

The City Commission adopted FY24 Initial Rate Resolution 2023-563(PDF, 14MB) on June 15, 2023 to update the City of Gainesville's Special Assessment for Fire Services.  Details of the assessment methodology can be found in the June 2023 Fire Assessment Memorandum(PDF, 636KB).

Hardship Assistance  

The City of Gainesville offers a hardship assistance program for low-income seniors and residents.  The application period opens in January and closes May 1 each year prior to the preliminary calculation of taxes and assessments in August.  Check your August TRIM insert for details for late applications. Applications must be submitted each year that the program is available.  Eligibility requirements may be viewed in the application packet.

(PDF, 307KB)2024 Application Packet for Fire Assessment Hardship Assistance(PDF, 602KB)

Sprinkler Credits - Discontinued for 2023 (FY24)

On March 23, 2023, the City Commission General Policy Committee approved the adoption of an updated methodology for the City of Gainesville Fire Special Assessment.  The new methodology does not include a credit for fire flow mitigation / sprinkler systems.   

Mobile Home/RV Park Vacancy Adjustments

Mobile Home or RV Park Vacancy Adjustment applications must be submitted annually by May 1.  See the form for instructions.

Mobile Home or Recreational Vehicle Park Vacancy Adjustment FORM(PDF, 105KB)

Fire Assessment Disputes 

Property owners who believe their buildings are a different size than indicated on their assessments should check their parcel information and building footprint on the Alachua County Property Appraiser’s website.  The assessment is based on total square footage, including garages, drive-throughs, covered walkways, and similar "under-roof" sections. If the “total” square footage still appears to be different than the actual building, please call Fire Administration at 352-334-5078

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the special assessment for fire services?

A special assessment for fire services provides a dedicated, equitable and stable funding source to pay for fire protection services benefiting property in the City of Gainesville.

What if the information contained on the assessment notice is incorrect?

If you believe the information in your notice is incorrect, please contact GFR at 352-334-5078.

How is my property assessed?

Historical demand is determined for each property type and each building is assessed for its total square footage under roof.  Vacant land is not assessed inside the city limits of Gainesville.  Additional details may be found in the June 2023 Fire Assessment Memorandum.(PDF, 636KB)

Can I apply for credits for sprinkler protection?

The fire flow mitigation sprinkler credit program has been discontinued.  

What is the difference between the special assessment for fire services and the property taxes I pay the city?

Taxes are based on the value of property and fluctuate with the market. Special assessments are based on the benefit of the service provided to the property. The use of special assessments requires a fair and reasonable apportionment of costs. This means that unlike taxes, which can be used for any general purpose, the special assessment must be developed to recover each property’s proportionate share of the costs of providing fire services and can only be used to fund fire services.

I receive a discount for paying my taxes early. Will I receive the same discount for the special assessment?

Yes. The discounts and penalties applicable to ad valorem taxes also apply to special assessments collected on tax bills.

What period of time does the fire assessment cover and when is it payable?

It is imposed annually covering Oct. 1 to Sept. 30 of each fiscal year. It is payable as part of annual property tax bills, between Nov. 1 and March 31.

What benefits does a special assessment provide to property owners in the City of Gainesville?

The city continues to provide the level of fire services property owners have come to expect. Fire services have been spared the significant budget reductions and impact on services other city departments must cope with. Maintaining fire service levels helps the city retain its fire protection classification with the Insurance Services Office (ISO Class 2).