Taxes are heading up in Anna Maria budget

2.05 mills. 8.82 percent tax increase.

The millage rate for the 2015-16 Anna Maria budget was set Sept. 9 as the city commission held its first reading of the budget ordinance at city hall, 10005 Gulf Drive.

The 2.05 millage rate — the ad valorem rate — will result in an 8.82 percent tax increase for city property owners.

The millage rate was tentatively set July 23 with an option to drop to the rollback rate — if possible. The rollback rate is 1.8839 mills.

The rollback rate would produce the same tax revenue for the city in the upcoming fiscal year as it does for the 2014-15 fiscal year.

Chair Chuck Webb and Commissioners Dale Woodland and Doug Copeland voted to approve the 2.05 mill rate and the 2015-16 budget.

Commissioners Carol Carter and Nancy Yetter were absent with excuse.

When Mayor Dan Murphy first proposed the 2.05 mill rate in July, he said he hoped the commission would decide to lower it as the discussion for spending continued.

Millage is used to determine the city’s share of taxes and is equal to $1 per $1,000 of property valuation.

At 1.8839 mills, a property with an assessed value of $500,000 would pay $941.95 in annual property taxes. At 2.05 mills, the same property would be taxed $1,025.

The mayor made budget adjustments since the Aug. 19 budget workshop, including an increase to the Anna Maria City Pier contingency fund, raising the cost from $13,400 to $130,682.60.

Murphy told commissioners he was concerned about the July 29 pier survey. He said the study has a potential for impact to the city and there’s no flood or wind insurance for the pier.

The City Pier Restaurant, the city’s tenant on the pier, 100 S. Bay Blvd., maintains general liability and property insurance valued at $2 million to protect against personal injuries, death and property damage.

Murphy also said the pier contingency fund would be used to protect the pier and make future improvements to Anna Maria City Pier Park, across from the pier. He said bids for the park came in “exceedingly high” and he wanted the city to be ready for future improvements, if needed.

Woodland recommended keeping a contingency fund for the next three years, just in case something should happen.

The commission approved a budget of $75,000 for park improvements May 7, but bids for the new restrooms at the park came in at around $100,000. The city approved Sept. 2 a bid of $87,239 from Kern Construction, 4012 Cortez Road, Bradenton.

Construction was set to begin Sept. 14.

The city commission will hold its final budget hearing at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23, at Anna Maria City Hall.


Anna Maria’s Budget:

Budget 2014-15      Proposed 2015-16

• Reserves       $1,895,845.23

• Ad valorem taxes $1,427,819      $1,577,701.12

• License & permit fees  $461,000 $1,149,540

• Personnel expenses      $656,260.49    $797,837.66

• Operating expenses      $1,454,346.51 $1,997,334.09

• Projects/maintenance   $1,092,687      $974,192.60

• Capital equipment/projects  $390,379 $260,793.80

• Stormwater Utility Maintenance $176,000 $230,000

• Total:*  $3,795,673      $4,310,858.15


* Editor’s note: Due to space, only a select number of departments are listed.