City budget, tax rate get nod from council
With little fuss and no public comment, city council members and the board of the city's Recreational Development Board approved a tax rate and their respective budgets on Thursday, Aug. 31.
That action clears the way for the city to begin a new fiscal year.
As recommended by the staff, the city's new tax rate will be 29.7 cents per $100 valuation, down from the current 37.8 cents. The reduced tax rate, along with a council-approved homestead exemption of 20 percent, will mean a tax bill for the owner of a $275,000 home this year that's about $300 less than last year's, as City Manager Michael Kovacs figures it.
Kovacs said that estimate is based on a house that was valued at $250,000 last year and whose valuation went up to $275,000 this year. Tax bills and potential savings for other valuations will, of course, differ.
The city's budget of $22,808,186 for the 2006-07 fiscal year is $9.58
million more than last year's budget. However, the increased budget doesn'mean more property taxes because the city expects to get more revenue from other sources and because much of the projected spending will come from funds that are already allocated.
For instance, the budget calls for spending $1.68 million on the nature preserve, but that money will come from certificates of obligation that were approved and sold back in 2004 for the purpose of financing the preserve.
Continued increases in hotel-motel tax revenue and money from other sources will let the city make up the difference in proposed spending, according to the budget.
As well, the city plans to institute a system of impact fees, whereby developers pay for the impact their projects have on the immediately surrounding area.
The budget will cover the fiscal year that runs Oct. 1-Sept. 30.