REDINGTON BEACH – Rising property values may enable tax rates to be rolled back, but the possibility of restrictions to future revenues could cloud budgetary decision making, town commissioners found July 5.
In a discussion of the 2017-18, budget, Town Clerk Missy Clarke said that based on the current millage rate of 1.849, she projected the town would collect $50,000 more in property taxes during the upcoming fiscal year.
If the commission adopted a rollback rate of 1.727, the town would still receive about $11,000 more than this year’s taxes.
The rollback tax rate is the tax rate that would be needed to raise the same amount of taxes that the taxing unit levied in the prior year plus 8 percent.
“The question we need to ask ourselves as we’re going through the budget process is there any reason why we would not want to do the rollback rate based on foreseeable large expense items,” asked Mayor Nick Simon in commenting on Clarke’s forecast.
Commissioner Tim Kornijtschuk responded, wondering if a proposed constitutional amendment to increase the homestead exemption by another $25,000 could “possibly play into this.”
The proposal will go before Florida voters in November 2018.
Simon said that because of new construction the town’s taxable values would “continue to increase over the next three or more years.”
“As Tim says,” added Vice Mayor Fred Steiermann, “if they do that [approve the proposed amendment] we might want to be looking to the future.”
Simon said the issue was not a concern now, adding that it was “something for us to look at down the road.”
Clarke noted that finalized property values were due from the Pinellas County Property Appraiser’s office later in July and that she was still awaiting news of any possible changes to insurance rates.
She added that an additional $16,000 in unexpected revenue had been collected this fiscal year.
In other business:
• Steiermann reported a beach cleanup the previous weekend was “great.”
“My kids went and they were there for 15 minutes and they said there were so many people that they knocked it out and they were gone.” He added that the concrete work to create a handicapped parking space at Town Park has been completed and the handicapped markings painted. “The park looks great,” he said, adding that a newly installed water fountain was “operational and cooling.”
• Simon said a resident had stopped by his home that morning to thank him and the commission for relocating no parking signs on the 161st Street causeway. “She said they had been effective.” Commissioners agreed June 7 to move the signs from the middle of the causeway after Commissioner Dave Will noted cars were parking illegally at either end.
• Commissioner Tom Dorgan said the board of Gulf Beaches Public Library had hired a director, who would begin work Aug. 7. The new director is Vincent Gadrix, who previously worked in Pittsburgh.