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Holmes Beach lowers spending at first of 2 budget hearings

By Kathy Prucnell, Islander Reporter

The 2012-13 budget hearing Sept. 11 drew only two members of the public who made no comments.

City treasurer Lori Hill presented a proposed 1.75 millage rate and $8,394,950 budget for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.

The budget was $535,096 more than the $7,859,854 budget proposed by outgoing treasurer Rick Ashley in July, and slightly less than the $8.67 proposed spending plan.

The increased revenue comes from a $525,000 stormwater reimbursement received from Southwest Florida Water Management District and $11,000 from T-end dock fees.

The city raised its dock fees from $50 to $425 for users of 60 refurbished slips at three T-end canals between 72nd and 77th streets.

Swiftmud’s reimbursement is now part of the $4,266,194 total carryover reserves and the T-end dock revenue is part of the $3,305,70 in local source revenue.

In addition to those revenues, the budget includes $2.08 million in local property taxes to be derived from the 1.75 millage rate, the same rate imposed last year.

The proposed tax rate is lower than the rollback rate, which is 1.7553. The rollback rate is the tax rate that would bring in the same amount of property tax dollars as the current year.

One mill is equal to $1 of property taxes for every $1,000 of taxable value of property. At the 1.75 millage rate, a homeowner with a house appraised at $500,000 and a maximum of $50,000 in homestead exemptions would pay $787.50 in city tax.

Ashley, who retired Aug. 31, told commissioners in July that Hill, on staff since May 31, had made all the calculations for the new budget.

The final budget hearing will be at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25, at city hall chambers, 5801 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach.

After the second reading of the ordinances, the millage rate will be certified by the Manatee County Property Appraiser’s Office, and tax notices are expected to be mailed by the tax collector on or about Nov. 1.

 

Mayor offers appreciation

Holmes Beach Mayor Rich Bohnenberger read a prepared statement at the Sept. 11 budget hearing — and then again at Commissioner John Monetti’s request for a crowd of about 40 people at the city’s regular meeting.

In it, he thanked commissioners for working to hold the line on the budget.

“The 2012-2013 budget has been drafted to meet the needs of our city for the new fiscal year starting Oct. 1, 2012,” Bohnenberger said.

“With the input from our management team and the members of the commission who met with our city treasurer during the drafting process, we have reached a new milestone in our city history. This budget marks the first time since our founding in 1950 that we have a budget that will provide five consecutive years with no tax increase.

“Our residents can be proud of our city government and our commitment to provide city services in a safe and cost-effective manner.

“I thank the commission for their support in this process,” Bohnenberger concluded.

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