PALMETTO -- The Palmetto City Commission approved a proposed millage rate increase by a 5-0 vote at its Monday evening meeting.
If approved on second reading Sept. 23, property taxes would increase by a half mill. A homeowner with a taxable home value of $100,000 would pay a $50 increase in property taxes.
Mayor Shirley Groover Bryant said the approval sets up the final vote on the millage rate increase. She said the increase was necessary because something must be done to improve the city's infrastructure.
"It's been a long time since the city has done something with our rate and we can't continue on like that because your infrastructure is everything," said Bryant.
Next week, city commissioners will enter into budget workshops to discuss the
city's proposed budget, which includes how the property tax will fund improvements to city infrastructure.
A millage rate is a property tax applied to real estate's assessed value. Millage rates are expressed in tenths of a penny. For example, a millage rate of 2 mills means 2/10ths of a penny.
"Once you set the proposed millage rate you can go down, but you can't go up," said Bryant.
She said the budget is already really tight on what the city can spend even with the half mill increase.
If the increased property tax rate is approved by the Palmetto City Commission, the increase will help fund services for the Parks and Recreation Department and improve city water, sewer and stormwater pipes.
The city commission will have the final vote on what will be adjusted in the budget by the end of September.
In other business:
City commissioners approved the first reading of the 2030 comprehensive plan, which includes land use requirements, stormwater handling and coastal management. The comprehensive plan includes a 10-year water supply plan, which is designed to make sure the city has an adequate supply of drinking water and a distribution system capable of meeting projected demand increases.
Commissioner Tambra Varnadore suggested the city commissioners have a workshop before finalizing the comp plan. City officials agreed before unanimously passing it on a first reading.
Commissioner Charles Smith announced he will not run for re-election in 2014 so he can run for county commissioner.
Janey Tate, city of Bradenton and Palmetto reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7041. You can follow her on Twitter at Janey_Tate.