The Longboat Key Town Commission is holding the island’s operating millage rate flat at the current rate of 2.1763 mills.
Commissioners approved maximum millage rates recommended by Town Manager Dave Bullock Monday night at its regular meeting at Town Hall that allow truth in millage tax notices to be sent to residents this summer.
The current operating millage rate generates an additional $504,061 in revenue for the 2015-16 fiscal year that begins Oct. 1 because property values increased 5.3% Key-wide.
One mill equals $1 for every $1,000 of assessed property valuation.
For a non-homestead property owner with a $1 million Gulf-front home residing in District A, the millage rates will result in an additional $188.41 (see sidebar). That amount also includes general operating building debt and beach millage debt millage rates.
The cap for tax increases on homestead properties statewide, though, is expected to be 0.8%, the maximum amount allowed by the homestead exemption.
The $504,061 increase from property value increases, along with other line item adjustments, reduces an estimated $426,000 deficit to $389,675. Bullock has authorization from the commission to use fund balance to pay off the deficit when the budget is finalized in September.
Since October 1992, Key property owners have paid for beach projects using the following model: District A voters foot 80% of a beach project bill and District B voters pay the remaining 20%.
District A includes all residential properties west of Gulf of Mexico Drive (i.e., the Gulf side) and all commercial properties on the island, while District B consists of all other Key properties.
Starting last fiscal year, taxpayers saw a beach assessment tax for a $16 million beach project that was approved through a referendum in March 2011.
The town began collecting district beach taxes for the project last year and won’t issue the debt until January. Beach millage debt in both districts this year is going down approximately 2% because Bullock is reducing the debt by the amount the town collected this past year.
Bullock will submit his recommended budget by Aug. 1. The commission will approve the budget on first and second readings in September.