Anna Maria proposes tax increase, 2.05 millage

Anna Maria city commissioners agreed at their Sept. 11 budget hearing to a 2.05 ad valorem millage rate for the 2012-13 fiscal year budget, an increase of 1.41 percent from the rollback rate of 2.0214 mills.

The rollback rate is the millage rate needed to produce the same amount of income to the city as the current year’s budget.

The 2.05 millage rate amounts to a budget increase, although it is the same rate as in the 2011-12 budget. If approved, the 2012-13 budget would be $2.3 million.

City treasurer Diane Percycoe said good news came from the city’s auditors, who said that the city’s reserve account climbed from less than 30 percent of operating expenses in the 2011-12 budget to 35.9 percent in the proposed budget.

“That made me very happy because last year it was below 30 percent for the first time I can remember,” Percycoe said.

The 2012-13 budget accounts for $98,000 in payments on the city property at the end of Pine Avenue. Private funding is expected to make up the majority, if not all, of the payments, Percycoe said.

Commission Chair Chuck Webb said he didn’t want to rely totally on private donations and said the city should put some funding in the 2013-14 budget. By next year’s budget cycle, the commission should have approved a usage for the vacant land and determined if any revenue could be derived from its use.

“We’ll at least have a backup plan,” Webb said.

Private donors already have pledged $100,000 in 2012-13 toward the mortgage on the land.

In other budget business, public works superintendent George McKay is proposing the city purchase a used electric truck for $4,610. McKay bought the truck for that price after finding it for sale and realizing someone would grab the bargain before the city could take action.

The truck is a 2005 model with 7,000 miles. Similar trucks were priced in the book of used car values at $8,000, McKay said.

The funds would come from the 2011-12 budget, which has $3,000 budgeted for such purposes, leaving $1,610 to come from the 2012-13 budget.

McKay estimated that without the need for gasoline, it will take the city two years to recover the cost of the vehicle.

City attorney Jim Dye said he didn’t think anything was improper about the purchase, but would check to ensure McKay is within the bounds of proper staff action.

Percycoe also added that the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office-Anna Maria substation has asked the city to purchase a $1,600 laser gun to track speeders. The current gun needs repairs, according to Sgt. Dave Turner.

Webb asked Percycoe to have Turner bring backup information to justify the request to the final budget hearing at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19, Anna Maria City Hall, 10005 Gulf Drive.


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