BELLEAIR — Town commissioners Sept. 3 tentatively agreed to maintain the current tax rate for the next fiscal year.
Staff recommended that commissioners hold the rate at 6.5 mills, which is equal to $6.50 for every $1,000 of assessed property value.
Town Manager J.P. Murphy said 1/14 of those mills fund capital projects. The remainder goes to the operating funds of the town.
The millage calculations are based upon the town’s total taxable value of $815.9 million, a 9.08% increase from the prior year.
The proposed expenditures for the next fiscal year are $6.81 million, which is 4.48 percent higher than the current fiscal year.
Revenues are slightly lower this year. That’s largely because of the elimination of a FEMA grant, said Stefan Massol, director of support services. That amounts to $579,000.
“We actually do expect to try to get that at the end of this fiscal year,” Murphy said.
Revenues are $6.8 million, compared to $7.1 million for the current fiscal year. The new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.
The town’s general fund relies heavily on property tax revenue, which exceeds 60 percent of the total fund’s budget, Murphy said.
The revenue increases include $326,000 in ad valorem taxes and $12,000 in sales taxes.
“By and large, a big portion of that is the $95,000 for special-duty police. This is the off-duty amounts,” Murphy said.
The department charges $45 an hour, of which $35 goes to the officers and $10 goes to support future police equipment.
The proposed budget includes $291,200 in building permit fees, a $60,000 reduction over the current fiscal year.
A resident asked what caused the increase in revenue for special-duty police. By contract, the Pelican Golf Club has hired the police department to provide 10 hours of nightly off-duty security, Murphy said.
The final hearing on the proposed budget and tax rate is set for Tuesday, Sept. 17, 6 p.m.