Sarasota County will add 40 new full-time positions and increase its operating budget 3.7% in the 2015 fiscal year, but the tax rate will hold steady, according to the preliminary budget.
After a winter board retreat with Sarasota County commissioners, four workshops and 17 internal budget reviews, county staff have prepared a $1.09 billion budget, which keeps the millage rate at 3.39%. That rate hasn’t changed since the county increased its mosquito maintenance budget in the 2013 fiscal year.
The preliminary budget shows a 1.1% increase over the 2014 fiscal year, and brings the number of total full-time employees to 3,453, according to a budget presentation County Administrator Tom Harmer emailed to commissioners Friday. Staff estimate major revenues, which come from property taxes, utility charges and other fees, will grow 4.4% to $371.4 million.
County staff have also eliminated a projected shortfall in the 2016 fiscal year general fund, which is used to support the majority of services and the budgets of constitutional officers. But, a $16.7 million deficit remains forecasted for the following year.
Harmer will present the preliminary budget next week during a series of workshops.