The town’s tax rate is officially rising 25.8% next month, when the fiscal year 2010-11 budget begins Oct. 1.
All but one of the seven members of the Longboat Key Town Commission recommended and passed on second reading a millage rate of 1.8872 mills, up 25.8% from the town’s current 1.5 millage rate, Monday, Sept. 27, at the commission’s budget adoption meeting.
One mill is equal to $1 for every $1,000 of assessed valuation.
Total operating expenses in the new budget total $14,244,733, up $1,125,720, or 8.58% higher, from the current budget that expires at the end of the month.
The new budget, including capital spending, totals $14,723,263, up $647,000, or 4.6%, from the current fiscal year.
The recommended budget was prepared based on a 9.3% island-wide reduction in property values.
For Longboat Key taxpayers, the proposed budget includes no debt service millage for Beach District A and Beach District B property owners, because the bond for the 2005-06 beach renourishment project will be paid off this year.
Beachside property owners (who pay for 80% of town-wide beach projects) will see a reduction in their tax rate.
Bayside property owners, however, will see an increase in their tax rate. Their portion of the beach project debt is only 20%, and the proposed millage increase is more than what they were paying for their portion of the beach debt.
The commission passed the new millage rate — the rate Town Manager Bruce St. Denis recommended — on second reading by a vote of 6-1.
Mayor George Spoll, Vice Mayor Jim Brown and Commissioners David Brenner, Lynn Larson, Hal Lenobel and Phillip Younger approved the 1.8872 millage rate and recommended budget on second reading.
Commissioner Robert Siekmann was the lone dissenting vote on both the millage rate and the budget votes for the second budget meeting in a row.
“I want to go on record as continuing to vote against any increase in the millage rate,” Siekmann said.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at firstname.lastname@example.org.