Palmetto passes $22.4 million budget and property tax increase

jtate@bradenton.comSeptember 24, 2013 

PALMETTO -- Palmetto residents will pay an increased millage rate of 5.717 after the final adoption of the 2013-14 budget Monday evening.

With a vote of 5-0, the city commission passed the 9.6 percent millage rate increase and $22.4 million budget, which is a $200,000 increase from $22.2 million a year ago.

A home with a taxable value of $100,000 will pay $50 more per year with the increase. A millage rate is a tax applied to assessed property value. Millage rates are expressed in tenths of a penny. For example, 2 mills equals 2/10ths of a penny.

Last year's millage rate was 5.2171.

Jim Freeman, city clerk, said amendments can still be made to the budget, but the millage rate had to be set before the fiscal budget year ends in October.

"It's statute that we are required to pass our final budget and millage and we've done that," said Freeman.

Mayor Shirley Groover Bryant said she was pleased to see little opposition to the property tax increase.

"I think the public recognizes the fact that we've been very prudent with the money," said Bryant. "I think they realized that we needed the additional funds to operate the city."

In other business:

• The Hernando Desoto Historical Society is working to bring its seafood festival to Palmetto. Joe Fenton, president of the society, and Gary Kortzendorf, event chairman, discussed with the commission what it would require to bring the event to the city.

Kortzendorf said they are looking for a new location

for their festival next year because they have to relocate from the Bradenton Auditorium because of the Da Vinci exhibit.

"The Bradenton Auditorium is being used for six months," said Fenton. He said they weren't notified by the Bradenton Auditorium about the schedule change.

Bryant said she is for the festival coming to Palmetto because it will add to the local economy.

"It would be a big boost for the city of Palmetto, especially for the businesses on 10th Avenue," said Bryant.

However, the city will have to amend an ordinance prohibiting the sale of alcohol at events.

"The way our attorney is recommending it is that it would be a case-by case-basis and it will be a special-function permit," Bryant said.

• Palmetto Commission will have the public hearing for an ordinance to approve a conceptual agreement for the proposed marina hotel and plaza at 120 Riviera Dunes Way. The public hearing is set for 7 p.m. Oct. 7 in city council chambers.

• Commissioners thanked Police Chief Rick Wells and the Palmetto Police Department for apprehending three suspects in the Saturday shooting at the Palmetto Youth Center.

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

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