HB property owners to see tax increase

Spending proposals are up in Holmes Beach along with the taxes to pay for the 2018-19 plans.

Commissioners authorized Mayor Bob Johnson July 23 to sign and submit to the Manatee County Property Appraiser two forms that establish a tentative 2.25 millage rate for the 2018-19 fiscal year.

The millage rate is a percentage that determines how much property owners pay in taxes based on property values. The rate is the same as last year, but it is a tax increase for property owners.

Treasurer Lori Hill said setting the rate at 2.25 mills is a 6.83 percent increase over the rollback rate — the rate that would generate the same amount of property tax revenues collected in the 2017-18 fiscal year.

The rollback rate is 2.1062.

Establishing the millage rate is the first step in the budget process. In August, the Manatee County Property Appraiser’s office will send property owners a TRIM notice, or the property’s taxable value. Taxes owed are based on the assessed value, less exemptions, times the millage rate of all the districts in the county where the property is located.

Commissioner Carol Soustek moved to approve the 2.25 millage rate and Commissioner Rick Hurst seconded the motion. Commissioners approved the rate.

Commission Chair Judy Titsworth was absent.

Property tax revenue is expected to top $4 million, a 7.8 percent increase from this fiscal year.
The city commission is considering a $15,450,809 budget that would begin Oct. 1 if approved.

The proposed budget is just over $2 million more than the 2017-18 budget.

The additional spending would be on three new staffers, a license plate recognition system for the police department, improvements at city field and insurance policies for employees’ health benefits and policies maintained by the Florida League of cities.

The budget, in the form of an ordinance, will have two public hearings and two votes before it becomes final and the new fiscal year begins.

The public hearings for the budget ordinance are set for 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, and 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25.

Paving projects continue
In other city news, ongoing paving and curbing projects have been approved. A revised agreement between the city and Superior Asphalt and Oneco Concrete and Asphalt allocates up to $130,208.75 and $67,130 respectively from the current fiscal year budget to complete projects that began in 2016.

Holmes Beach city engineer Lynn Burnett said while the projects were initially approved in 2016, the costs were too high to fund in one fiscal year. The revised agreement, approved July 23, is the second revision to the original 2016 agreement.

Paving work will be completed on sections of Flotilla Drive, 54th, 55th, 56th, 79th and 83rd streets, as well as a maintenance yard near city hall.

New curbing is planned for the south side of 70th Street, east of Marina Drive.

Per the agreement, work must be completed by Sept. 30, before the start of the new fiscal year.

The city commission will next meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14, at city hall, 5801 Marina Drive.