Palmetto considering property tax increase

jtate@bradenton.comJuly 21, 2013 

PALMETTO -- Palmetto city officials are proposing a property tax increase for the 2014 fiscal year, as well as a 3 percent raise for city employees who have not had an increase in salaries in four years.

City Clerk Jim Freeman said the recommendations are to help maintain city services and improve infrastructure.

"We have proposed a millage .5 mills higher than we were last year," said Freeman.

A homeowner with a taxable home value of $100,000 would see a $50 increase in property taxes.

A millage rate is a tax rate that is applied to the assessed value of real estate. Millage rates are expressed not as regular percentages, but in tenths of a penny. For example, a millage rate of 2 mills would mean 2/10ths of a penny.

If the increased property tax rate is approved by Palmetto commission, the increase will help fund services for the Parks and Recreation department, and improving the city's water, sewer and storm water pipes.

The city commission will have the final vote on what will be adjusted in the budget. Their meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday will include approval of the proposed property tax rate.

Commissioner Charles Smith said there will have to be some adjustment done

to the budget.

"It's still going to haveto be debated," said Smith.

He said the recommendations may not stand because the commission does not have to approve an increase.

"We have a deadlineof Aug. 4 and we willhave to come up with a final number by then," said Smith.

The proposed budget also includes a 3 percent cost of living increase for city employees. Freeman said employees have not had a cost-of-living raise for four years.

Commissioner Jonathan Davis said city employees work hard and deserve the raise.

"The way the economy is, no one has been given a raise in a while," said Davis.

"I think we do need a cost of living increase. It will improve the morale of employees, and make them feel appreciated."

Janey Tate, city of Bradenton and Palmetto reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7041. You can follow her on Twitter at Janey_Tate.

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