Only one member of the public attended Anna Maria’s second and final budget hearing Sept. 27 despite an anomalously large budget unanimously approved by the commission.
American Consulting Professionals senior project engineer and Anna Maria resident Jack Knowlton attended the hearing to comment before commissioners considered the 2018-19 budget and millage rate.
Knowlton asked why capital outlay was budgeted at $4.2 million for 2018-19, but Mayor Dan Murphy said the cost of building a new Anna Maria City Pier made up the bulk of the budgeted capital outlay.
Construction of the pier ballooned the budget, with total expenses increasing by 82 percent, from $5,879,018.58 in 2017-18 to $10,492,116 in 2018-19.
The pier accounts for $3,596,860.15 of the city’s budgeted revenue and $3,703,865.80 of expenses in the new fiscal year, which began Oct. 1.
Commissioners approved an ad valorem rate of 2.05 mills to yield $2,245,437 in revenues, a $207,639 increase over the $2,037,798 collected in 2017-18.
The millage rate results in a tax increase. To avoid a tax increase, the city needed to adopt the rollback rate of 1.8911, which would have yielded $2,071,388. The rollback rate is the rate needed to produce the same income as the current budget.
The millage rate is the amount per $1,000 of property value used to calculate property taxes.
The owner of a property appraised at $400,000 with a 2.05 millage rate would pay $820 in property taxes.
The owner of a property appraised at $400,000 with the 1.8911 rollback rate would have paid $756.44 in property taxes.
The total appraised taxable value of Anna Maria properties is $1,094,718,024, with $19,008,031 attributed to new construction begun in 2017-18.
The new budget is balanced at $10,492,116 in revenues and expenses, along with $2,972,271 in fund balances, reserves and net assets. Commissioners passed the budget with a 5-0 vote.