With an 8.6 increase in overall property values citywide, Bradenton’s 2016-17 fiscal year budget starting Oct. 1 is expected to see a $1.4 million increase in property taxes, bringing the overall budget close to $100 million.
The increase from the current year’s budget is enough to meet the city’s needs, city administrator Carl Callahan said, and he told city council on Wednesday that no increase is needed in the millage rate. A mill is $1 for every $1,000 of appraised property value; the city will keep its rate at 5.8976.
While the rollback rate won’t be determined until the final budget is set in September, by state statute, if property values bring in more revenue from the prior year and officials don’t decrease the millage rate to match its current revenue intake, it is still considered a tax increase.
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“We’ve gone through an extensive process over the last several months to get to this point, which is to set the tentative millage rate so we get the TRIM notices out to the public,” said Callahan.
While the overall increase was 8.6 percent, Callahan said 3.5 percent of that increase came from new construction.
“The actual overall taxable values on existing properties is about 5 percent,” he said.
Bradenton’s overall taxable value is $3.87 billion, and the city continues to see a year-by-year recovery from the economic downtown. But it is still down in value from 2008 when the city was worth $4.2 billion.
We are still way lower than where we were.
Mayor Wayne Poston
The additional $1.4 million in revenue is already spoken for, with a required $600,000 for a new emergency radio system. Also, $100,000 will return to the community redevelopment agencies and not the general fund.
Overall, I think it’s a good budget and it will work at the current millage rate.
City administrator Carl Callahan
The remaining funds will pay for administrative costs within the Bradenton Police Department and a 3 percent general employee raise. Police and fire salaries are still under negotiation, but Callahan said he has put funds aside to pay for those increases that are not reflected in the early version of the budget.
Callahan said much of the budget will remain the same, including about $1 million for paving projects.
“Overall, I think it’s a good budget and it will work at the current millage rate,” he said.
City officials will continue to iron out budget details through the month of August with a series of workshops before holding the two required public hearings in September. The city tentatively set the first public hearing for Sept. 7, barring no conflicts with county agencies.