Pending final budget deliberations, the commission still has the ability to lower the rates or add more taxes elsewhere.
In less than five minutes and with no discussion, the County Commission voted unanimously to hold the line on the property tax rate for fiscal year 2018.
Last month, the County Commission heard from County Administrator Tom Harmer and his staff as they presented a budget that included a .1 mill increase from $3.3912 per $1,000 of taxable value. That would have generated an additional $5 million in tax revenue each year — and imposing a 5% tax on public utilities for residents in unincorporated parts of the county.
In response, commissioners asked to see more options to balance next year's budget without raising the tax rate. Commissioners said they were uncomfortable raising rates when all other options, including cutting departmental budgets within the county, had not been fully explored.
The unanimous vote not to raise the millage rate means moving forward, the rate cannot be higher than 3.3912 mills. However, the commission still has the flexibility to reduce the rate at the final budget workshop and adoption in August and September.