MANATEE -- Manatee County property values are rising by about 8.1 percent next year, to almost $28.1 billion, according to the Property Appraiser's Office, which certified taxable values Wednesday.
The appraiser's property values for next year total nine-tenths of a percentage point less than the 9 percent estimate Manatee County Administrator Ed Hunzeker used when preparing the recommended $550 million net budget for 2015-16.
The county's calculations are based on a comparison with the July 2014 certified value, which show an 8.3 percent increase in values countywide and a 8.5 percent increase in unincorporated Manatee County values. The Property Appraiser's Office compared the new number with the final roll of 2014, which was in October.
According to the county's calculation, estimated tax revenue will be $1.2 million less than originally projected in the recommended budget, according to Hunzeker.
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The June 1 estimate had taxable property rates rising 7.9 percent.
Since the largest revenue stream in the general fund is property taxes, Hunzeker told the Manatee County Commission during its June budget work sessions it may have to dip further into its reserves to balance the budget.
"We have some work to do to resolve the difference, and I will bring back to you another balanced budget proposal for you to consider during the July 30 reconciliation work session," Hunzeker said Wednesday in an email to commissioners and department directors.
In addition to the expected shortfall in revenue, commissioners plan to discuss more than $5 million in possible additional spending.
"As you are aware, my recommended budget relies on budget stabilization funds, and any new items in the budget will likely increase our reliance on those funds," Hunzeker said in the email. "However, as I have said in the past, as the local economy continues to improve, we believe it's best to decrease, not increase our reliance on reserves to balance the budget. As such, we will have to make some difficult decisions in order to fund the flagged items, or they will have to wait until more robust years in the future."
In the 2015-16 budget, Hunzeker is recommending no property tax rate increase for the eighth consecutive year. But the increase in property values means some property owners will pay more in taxes even if the millage rate stays the same.
The 2015 taxable values for the cities within Manatee County are:
Anna Maria, more than $793.4 million, increasing by 10.52 percent.
Bradenton Beach, more than $468 million, increasing by 9.62 percent.
Bradenton, more than $2.8 billion, increasing by 6.86 percent.
Holmes Beach, more than $1.56 billion, increasing by 9.33 percent.
Palmetto, more than $716.3 million, increasing by 5.3 percent.
Longboat Key, for the portions in Manatee County, increasing by 7.01 percent.
Claire Aronson, Manatee County reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7024 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @Claire_Aronson.