Anna Maria lowers spending but hikes taxes

Anna Maria is a meeting and a vote away from cementing a budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year.

The second hearing and final reading for the budget and millage ordinances will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24, at city hall, 10005 Gulf Drive N.

And while the total budget amount is lower for the coming year, it still packs a tax hike for property owners.

City commissioners Sept. 10 held a first reading and public hearing for an ordinance establishing a proposed $9,070,607 budget and 2.0500 millage rate, ultimately voting 4-0 on a pair of motions to tentatively approve the figures.

The seat of Commissioner Amy Tripp, who resigned in August to move to North Carolina, remained empty.

The proposed budget would be $1,716,069 less than the current budget, which is inflated with funding for the new Anna Maria City Pier.

With the pier built, the city’s proposed budget for capital outlay projects plummeted from $1,879,989 in the 2019-20 budget to $295,000 for 2020-21.

Salaries and administrative costs take up the largest slice of the city’s projected costs at $1,767,508.

The second- and third-most expensive categories in the proposed budget are public works at $1,288,072 and stormwater improvements with $1,280,847.

The proposed budget for stormwater improvements would mark a $393,477 increase over the budget adopted for the same expenses this year. The increase is largely due to plans to install vertical infiltration trenches in rights of way along Pine Avenue, South Bay Boulevard, Crescent Drive, Magnolia Avenue and Gladiolus Street.

Overall, the proposed budget includes $6,855,788 in expenses and $2,214,819 for reserves.

The largest source of revenue is ad valorem taxes which, at the proposed 2.0500 millage rate, are projected to earn the city $2,607,740.

The proposed millage rate would amount to a tax increase for property owners since the city’s taxable property went from $1,200,147,787 in 2019 to $1,272,068,427 in 2020.

Millage is $1 per $1,000 of assessed property value, so the owner of a $500,000 property would pay $1,025 in ad valorem tax at the proposed 2.0500 millage rate.

At the rollback rate of 1.9599 mills, the rate needed to produce the same revenue as the current year, a $500,000 property would cost its owner $979.95 in ad valorem tax. The rollback rate would produce $2,573,394 in ad valorem revenue — $34,346 less than the proposed rate.

The second-highest source of projected revenue is $1,280,847 for stormwater fees, grants and permits. The figure is bolstered by a $750,000 grant from the Southwest Florida Water Management District for drainage improvements.

Other notable revenue sources for 2020-21 include $1,182,500 from city licensing, permits and fees, as well as $665,568 in intergovernmental revenues like gas taxes.

There was no public comment.


Anna Maria by the numbers

2020-21 expenses: $9,070,607.

2019-20 adopted expenses: $7,859,405.

2020-21 millage rate: 2.0500 mills.

Rollback rate: 1.9599 mills.

2019 assessed property value: $1,200,147,787.

2020 assessed property value: $1,272,068,427.

Final hearing for the budget: 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24.

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