The strategy for creating the Inverness 2022-23 budget is simple: do more with less and without higher tax rates.
That’s the thinking behind the city’s next draft mileage rate proposal at Tuesday’s city council meeting, City Manager Eric Williams told the Chronicle.
Williams said he will offer his board bosses an interim mileage rate of 7.8211 for the 2022-23 fiscal year, the same as the current rate.
Florida law requires local governments to set an interim mileage rate that the council can then lower but not increase as it sets its next budget.
“For the next fiscal year, the city will experience increases in several areas: the Florida Retirement System, Medical Benefits Program, Electricity/Utility Consumption, (Public Safety) Increases, and program/maintenance to support events, the drop-off district and improved parks that are driven by greater use,” Williams wrote to the board. “Effort has been to build a budget that provides expected service levels and has not found it necessary to adjust the current mileage rate of 7.8211 for the following year.”
Williams told the Chronicle that now was not the time to consider raising the ad valorem rate.
He said the city was a “recession-sensitive community” and that raising the tax rate would do more harm than good.
Williams said he will work on city employee wage increases for the next budget, but has not yet determined the amount.
Meanwhile, the city will see its income increase even further.
This is because the overall value of the city has increased.
“The Citrus County real estate appraiser has certified $566,955,723 in total assessed value of non-exempt property to be used for budget planning purposes,” Williams said.
“This estimate includes a net taxable new construction/improvement value of $1,817,885 and a total increase in value over the prior year of approximately $32,808,191 or 6.1%,” it said. he declared.
At the current mileage of 7.8211 collected versus about $566,955,723 at 95% collection, the city would collect about $4,212,507 in property tax, he said.
That’s about $210,000 more than a year ago.
At the retroactive mileage rate of 7.4300 levied on an estimated $566,955,723 at 95% collection, the city would collect approximately $4,001,857 in property tax.
The reduction rate is the mileage rate that would generate the same amount of property tax as the previous year. Thus, if the value of taxable property in the city increases, the demotion rate decreases.
And that’s how the proposed mileage rate affects owners.
One thousand property, or ad valorem taxes, equals $1 for every $1,000 of the property’s assessed value. So if a property is worth $75,000, after homestead exemptions, the owner’s city property taxes would be $586.58 if the mileage rate remains at 7.8211. This does not include departmental or school taxes.
But even if the tax rate may stay the same, many homeowners could end up paying more.
This is because if a property increases in value, the same 7.8211 mileage will mean a higher tax bill for the owner.
City Council will meet at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 5, at City Hall, 212 W. Main St., Inverness.