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Date of Issue: August 18, 2005

Holmes Beach budget ready, taxes down

Holmes Beach city commissioners approved the proposed $10.14 million budget and accompanying 1.9 millage rate for 2005-06 fiscal year at their Aug. 9 budget workshop and set the first public hearing on the new budget for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 7. The 1.9 millage represents a drop of 5 percent from the current 2.0 millage imposed on city taxpayers.

A mill is $1 for every $1,000 of assessed value of a property, less any exemptions.

While the proposed budget is an increase of 20.6 percent in spending from the $8.4 million for 2004-05, it also includes an increase in ad valorem revenues of 20.64 percent. With the increased revenues, the city will be increasing its reserve fund to $1.75 million, City Treasurer Rich Ashley said.

The city has "planned well" in the past, said Mayor Carol Whitmore, with the implementation of a stormwater assessment fee and completion of a capital improvements project list. Because of that planning, she said, the city was able to lower the tax rate.

Ashley agreed somewhat, but added that the increase in ad valorem taxes also helped.

Commissioner Rich Bohnenberger said he was "pleased" with the 1.9 millage rate, although he would have liked to have gotten to a lower figure.