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Bradenton Beach raises taxes in $2.2M budget

By Mark Young, Islander Reporter

What took 15 minutes two weeks ago, took about eight minutes Sept. 19, when Bradenton Beach commissioners passed resolutions and an ordinance adopting a 2012-13 budget that includes the first tax hike in years.

Two segments of public comment were scheduled before passage of two resolutions to adopt the final millage rate and budget, as well as a final reading for an ordinance establishing the budget.

The public comment segments were quickly opened and closed with no one in attendance.

Commissioners worked through their budget issues at several July meetings focusing on various aspects of the budget, including raising the millage to 2.3329.

A mill is $1 for every $1,000 of assessed property value. The increase in property taxes for Bradenton Beach residents will be about $85 a year for a home valued at $450,000.

According to city clerk Nora Idso, city property owners will see the increase on their 212-13 property taxes, and the Manatee County Property Appraiser office will send out notices in November.

Commissioners, through the summer, battled through a budget that included employee raises, rising operating costs and emphasized infrastructure improvements. The budget process began with a $145,000 shortfall.

Commissioners ultimately agreed to split the shortfall between taxpayers and the city’s reserve fund. The final millage rate will increase revenue by about $75,000 and commissioners earlier passed a resolution to release $75,000 from the city’s $2 million reserve fund to cover the shortfall and balance the budget.

Bradenton Beach property owners contributed more than $853,000 toward this year’s $2.2 million city budget. The estimated property tax revenue to be generated in the coming fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, is $923,000 to help balance the $2.4 million spending plan.

Vice Mayor Ed Straight made the motions to pass the two resolutions and ordinance. Commissioner Gay Breuler seconded all three motions, which all passed 4-0. Commissioner Ric Gatehouse was absent with excuse.

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