Inverness council votes to hold line on tax rate | Local News

Amid concerns of rising inflation and an impending recession that would be a financial blow to Inverness residents, the city’s council voted Tuesday, July 5, to not increase its ad valorem rate for the coming fiscal year.

The council voted unanimously to set the tentative millage rate at 7.8211 for fiscal year 2022-23.

Florida law allows the council to lower the tentative millage rate, but not raise it when the council finalizes its budget later this fall.

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“It’s not going to be the easiest thing in the world, but it’s not a good time to (raise the millage rate),” City Manager Eric Williams told the council. “We’re committed to living within the current millage rate.”

Councilman David Ryan said he had faith in city staff to carefully watch over the city’s spending.

“Our city staff is extremely aware of what they spend and how they spend it,” he said.

Mayor Bob Plaisted praised Williams for hiring “the best people” to work for Inverness government and getting the most for the money the city collects.

Williams’ pursuit of state grants and other cost-saving measures has saved the city millions of dollars, Plaisted said.

“We’re blessed up here,” he said. “Inverness is a city well done.”

The Citrus County property appraiser certified the city’s taxable value at $566,955,723.

That includes an increase of $1,817,885 in new construction and improvement value from the previous year and a total increase in value of $32,808,191 or 6.1%.

At the current millage of 7.8211 levied against an estimated $566,955,723 at 95% collection the city would collect an estimated $4,212,507 in property tax, Williams told the council.

That’s about $210,000 more than a year ago.

At the roll back millage rate of 7.4300 levied against an estimated $566,955,723 at 95% collection the city would collect an estimated $4,001,857 in property tax.

The rollback rate is the millage rate which would generate the same amount of property tax as the previous year. So if the value of taxable property in the city increases, the roll back rate decreases.

And this is how the proposed millage rate effects property owners.

One mill in property, or ad valorem taxes, is equal to $1 for each $1,000 of the property’s taxable value. So if a property is worth $75,000, after homestead exemptions, the property owner’s city property taxes would be $586.58 if the millage rate remains at 7.8211. That does not include county or school taxes.

But while the tax rate may remain the same, many property owners could end up paying more.

That’s because if a property increases in value, the same 7.8211 millage will mean a higher tax bill to the homeowner.

The city council will have another budget workshop at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 19, at city hall, 212 W. Main St., Inverness.

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