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Palm Coast Wednesday, Jul. 15, 2020 4 months ago

City Council considers holding millage rate steady

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Because property values have increased, keeping the millage rate the same will bring in more tax revenue for the city government.
by: Jonathan Simmons News Editor

Presenting the City Council with options for the coming year's millage rate, city staff at a July 14 City Council meeting proposed setting the maximum millage rate at the current rate of 4.6989.

Because the Property Appraiser's Office is predicting a property value increase of 6.8% in Palm Coast, holding the millage rate steady would bring in an estimated additional $1.6 million in property tax revenue for the city government, according to city staff.

That money that could be used to help patch shortfalls from revenue loss in other areas of the city budget due to COVID-19. It's not entirely clear how much the city will lose in revenue.

“We want someone who knows a wide range of issues that we deal with on a daily basis that is different every day.”

 

— MILISSA HOLLAND, mayor, on what the City Council will be seeking in the person selected to fill a council seat vacated recently by Jack Howell. See page 5

"The state revenues that we have not received ... are a concern," said Helena Alves, the city's finance director. "They’re typically released in July. … In this environment, that is a big wildcard."

The city also hopes to add four staff positions this year — to hire three firefighter EMTs, and convert two part-time Parks and Recreation positions to full-time.

The city will vote to adopt its maximum millage rate in a meeting on July 21, and will vote on its final millage rate and budget on Sept. 23. 

The rollback rate — the rate that would bring the city the same dollar amount in sales tax revenue as was received this year — would be 4.5236, according to city staff.

The council also considered a presentation of the city's Strategic Action Plan Roadmap for 2020-2021 — including focus areas such as the Town Center Innovation District, a business-friendliness initiative, and streetlights —  but City Manager Matt Morton cautioned that the roadmap, in the context of COVID-19, is optimistic.

Mayor Milissa Holland noted that the city will have to have a “real honest conversation" about which projects to move forward.

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