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Date of Issue: July 28, 2010

Anna Maria sets tentative millage

Faced with a $747,000 decline in revenues for the 2010-11 fiscal year, Anna Maria city commissioners established a tentative millage for the coming budget year at 1.8665, a rate that is actually a 4.4 percent increase from the current 1.7882 millage rate.

The 1.8665 rollback rate allows the city to meet the same budget as last year.

The rollback is the rate projected to produce the same revenue and spending as the previous fiscal year by factoring property value assessments.

Commissioners can lower the rate when they approve the final budget, but it can’t be raised, said city treasurer Diane Percycoe at the commission’s July 22 meeting.

Percycoe presented the city’s proposed 2010-11 total budget of $2.137 million at a budget work session July 21. The operating budget is projected at $1.1 million.

The total proposed budget is a 26 percent decrease from the $2.885 million the city spent last year, although a large portion of that was from the city’s line of credit to pay for capital improvements projects and grant money from the Southwest Florida Water Management District for stormwater projects.

The city would have a reserve of about $470,000, or 43 percent of the total operating budget of $2.1 million in the 2010-11 budget, Percycoe noted.

City staff will get an across-the-board 2.5 percent pay raise in the budget, their first salary increase in three years.

Mayor Fran Barford said that while this is a “bare-bones budget and more,” it is enough to ensure the city will operate at the present level and provide for the “health, safety and welfare” of residents.

Commissioner Harry Stoltzfus praised Percycoe’s work, saying it was a “pleasure” to see such professionalism.

City auditor Ed Leonard presented some good news to the commission, stating the audit of the city’s 2008-09 budget showed no deficiencies. Leonard gave the city a “clean, unqualified” rating, the highest an auditor can give a budget.

The commissioners set the date for the first public hearing on the 2010-11 budget for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 8. Several budget work sessions are scheduled before the hearing.

Millage increase comparison

If Anna Maria adopts a 1.8665 millage rate for 2010-11, it will be a 4.4 percent increase from the current 1.7882 rate that was first adopted in the 2007-08 budget.

One mill is equal to $1 for every $1,000 of assessed valuation on a property.

An Anna Maria homeowner with an assessed value of $425,000 and claiming a $25,000 homestead exemption paid Manatee County $715.28 under the current 1.7882 ad valorem millage rate.

By comparison, a 4.4 percent increase in 2010-11 would result in the same property owner paying $746.60 in ad valorem taxes to Manatee County, an increase of $31.32.

Anna Maria’s ad valorem millage rate was 2.0 from the 2001-02 budget until the 2007-08 budget, when it was lowered to the current 1.7882.