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Date of Issue: July 21, 2010

Bohnenberger keeps HB taxes, spending level

For the first time in the city’s 60 years, there will be no tax increase in Holmes Beach for the third consecutive year, according to Mayor Rich Bohnenberger.

Unfortunately for city employees, there also will be no raises.

Bohnenberger and city treasurer Rick Ashley will finalize the city budget July 27.

But Bohnenberger has a tentative budget that indicates a steady tax rate, which Bohnenberger said is possible because the city did not replace the position of building official, which was held by the late Bill Saunders, and because the city has not purchased any new public works vehicles. Instead, the city has been operating used vehicles from the police department, Bohnenberger said.

“Even if the air conditioning isn’t working, it’s not that important,” Bohnenberger said. “The (police) just drive to the job site and get out.”

He added that the city also is no longer hiring private landscaping or cleaning services.

“By cutting a little here and a little there, we’re doing OK,” Bohnenberger said. “Unfortunately for employees, if they don’t get enough initiative, we’ve got to give them something next year. The cost of day-to-day lives goes up, too, and I don’t want to see anyone laid off.”

He said the city’s work load seems to be increasing daily.

“And now that we have the Kingfish Boat Ramp (annexed into the city),” Bohnenberger said, “the parking is something that will have to be maintained.”

 The rollback rate, or rate required to generate the same amount of tax dollars the jurisdiction received the previous year, will drop from 1.9368  mills to 1.75 mills for a 9.64 percent reduction.

If the city levies the proposed 1.75 millage rate, the property tax on a $350,000 home, without exemptions, would be $612.50. A mill is $1 for every $1,000 of assessed value of property less any exemptions.