The Manatee County Board of County Commissioners approved a business-as-usual tentative $530 million budget at a public hearing Sept. 10, keeping the millage rate the same.
Only one member of the public spoke at the public hearing, the second of this year’s budget process, during which commissioners approved a tentative millage rate of 6.2933 mills for property owners in incorporated areas and 6.9102 mills for unincorporated property owners.
Although the rates are unchanged, homeowners will pay more in property taxes due to a countywide average 4% increase in property values.
A homeowner living in a home in unincorporated Manatee County valued at $150,000 would pay $1,056.52 in property taxes.
A city resident would pay $964.89.
The increased property values will give the county an additional $1.2 million in revenue, which the board decided to give to Manatee County Sheriff Brad Steube to hire more personnel.
County Administrator Ed Hunzeker had hoped to keep the added revenue in reserves, to recover from the 30% decrease in property tax revenues since 2007.
The new budget does keep a 4% boost in salaries for county employees, including Sheriff’s Office employees.
Hunzeker’s original budget proposal featured lower property tax rates.
The budget commissioners approved removes earlier proposals to implement an electric franchise fee on utilities and to transfer sheriff road-patrol costs to residents in unincorporated areas.
Hunzeker had said money raised from a potential sales-tax increase would provide enough revenue for property tax rates to be lowered 25% for incorporated residents and 13% for individuals who live in unincorporated areas.
After the measure failed a public referendum, Hunzeker said the county did not have the revenue to do that, and he recommended commissioners approve the budget as is.
The board will vote to adopt the 2013-14 budget and the millage rate at the last public hearing at 6 p.m. Thursday.
Contact Josh Siegel at email@example.com.
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