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Anna Maria budget easily passes 1st go-around

By Rick Catlin, Islander Reporter

Anna Maria is heading to a record budget amount for the next fiscal year and city homeowners will face yet another tax increase.

Anna Maria commissioners unanimously approved the proposed $3.03 million 2013-14 spending plan at their first public hearing on the budget Sept. 11.

The $3.03 million budget is based on a millage rate of 2.05 mills, the same as the 2012-13 budget, but the spending plan amounts to an increase of 24 percent from 2012-13.

Much of the proposed new spending is due to increased revenues from ad valorem taxes, as well as an expected $350,000 payment from Ridan Industries for construction of a cell tower and a $149,500 Southwest Florida Water Management District grant to dredge Lake LaVista.

The budget also includes $40,000 for the reserve fund.

Commission Chair Chuck Webb said a rollback rate of 1.9507 would produce the same revenue as the current year. If the ad valorem rate of 2.05 is adopted, it would amount to a tax increase of 5.1 percent.

Commissioners had adopted a tentative millage rate of 2.10 mills, but the $110,000 increase in ad valorem tax revenues and other revenues allowed them to maintain the 2.05 millage rate and increase spending.

At a 2.05 millage rate, a property owner with a home valued for tax purposes at $400,000 would pay $820 in ad valorem taxes to the city.

The final budget hearing is at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25, at Anna Maria City Hall, 10005 Gulf Drive.

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