The Sarasota City Commission set its maximum millage rate tonight at the “rollback” rate of 2.9249 mills for its 2012 fiscal year budget.
The rollback rate allows the city to collect the same amount of taxes it collected last year.
If the city approves the rollback rate when it approves its fiscal year 2012 budget on second reading in late September, the move would actually decrease the town’s tax rate by 2.63%.
The city’s current millage rate is 2.7771 mills. One mill equals $1 in property tax for every $1,000 of assessed value.
If the commission officially approves the higher millage rate in September on second reading, it would generate an additional $800,000 and only require the city to use $1.3 million in reserves to balance an overall 2012 budget that increased $11 million from the current fiscal year budget.
The commission, however, has still directed City Manager Bob Bartolotta and city staff to come up with a potential list of $800,000 worth of budget cuts or revenue enhancements they can choose from before setting the final millage rate in September.
At an afternoon budget workshop earlier in the day, the commission leaned toward that maximum millage rate after realizing it would still leave the town with a reserve budget of $1.9 million.
City staff’s previous suggestion was to keep the millage rate at 2.7771 mills and take $2 million out of reserves to cover a budget shortfall that was $6 million when it was first presented in June.
The maximum millage rate will be included in the estimated property tax bills that the Sarasota County Tax Collector’s Office mails out in August.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at email@example.com.