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Longboat Key’s budget keeps tax rate flat, property values rebound

The town of Longboat Key's 2022 fiscal year budget starts on Oct. 1.

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  • | 10:05 p.m. September 27, 2021
Fiscal year 2022 runs from Oct. 1, 2021, through Sept. 30, 2022.
Fiscal year 2022 runs from Oct. 1, 2021, through Sept. 30, 2022.
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The tax rate for the town of Longboat Key will go unchanged for yet another year.

On Monday night, town commissioners voted 6-0 to keep the town’s general fund millage rate at 2.1144 for fiscal year 2022. It’s gone unchanged since the 2017 budget.

“With the major projects we have going on and they’re being successfully handled…we can lose sight or take for granted the operation of our budget and our finance department and the town manager’s involvement and all that,” Mayor Ken Schneier said. “We have a superlative finance group and finance result in this town.

“We’re very, very fortunate to have it.”

The budget for fiscal year 2022 shows the town’s total revenue at $17,420,378. The town is due to spend $17,832,746, which would mean costs would exceed revenues by $412,368 because of spending on capital projects. 

The deficit will come from the town’s fund balance, which will have $10,421,147 remaining in it, enough to fund town operations for 220 days. That is reduced from FY21’s balance and 244 days’ worth of operations.

The town has a reserve policy requirement of 90 days.

“It’s always a good feeling when you can work through the budget process and come up with a plan that seems to make sense, (and) matches with the priorities in our strategy, but it’s a year-round process,” Town Manager Tom Harmer said.

The town is planning several expenditures in the upcoming fiscal year, including the undergrounding project, completing the outdoor Town Center phase two improvements and beginning a multiyear $7.2 million construction project to replace cement pipes in Country Club Shores that contain asbestos and early planning stages of a redundant sewer line under Sarasota Bay.

July’s certified property values show the town will have a 5.99% increase compared to the year before. Last year, property tax revenues declined from the previous year for the first time since 2013.

The fiscal year 2022 budget shows the town will collect $13,139,051 in property taxes, which make up up 75.42% of the town’s revenue for the upcoming fiscal year.

Harmer said commissioners will need to give staff direction on how the town should use the $3,656,978 it has received from the American Rescue Plan Act. The federal measure provides funding to help local governments recoup from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Separate and different, but still (of) the same kind of opportunity, Sarasota County is renewing their surtax for the next 15 years, and that’ll go to the ballot (in) November 2022,” Harmer said. “And so, the commission will need to give us some direction and input on where they want to place those priorities for the next 15 years.”



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