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Ormond Beach Observer Tuesday, Jul. 28, 2020 2 weeks ago

Ormond Beach is lowering taxes by 4.4% despite COVID-19 pandemic

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The city plans to adopt the rollback rate of 3.9068 mills, and the first hearing is scheduled for September.
by: Jarleene Almenas Associate Editor

The city of Ormond Beach is moving forward with adopting the rollback rate for property taxes, and the first public hearing will be held Sept. 9.

At its virtual meeting on Tuesday, July 28, the City Commission unanimously adopted a tentative millage rate of 3.9068 mills (which means about $3.90 will be collected for every $1,000 of taxable property value), a decrease of 4.4% from the current tax rate of 4.087. The city's budge will also decrease by 5.38%, dropping from the current year's figure of $101.9 million to $96.5 million.

The city finance department was able to prepare the 2020-2021 budget without moving $100,000 from its Facilities Renewal and Replacement fund to the general fund, which had been under consideration under the first draft of the budget to help fund operations. The budget was prepared using $1.165 million of the revenue stabilization funds, which came from the general fund reserves. Pension costs have also been reduced by $441,000, or 9.7%.

According to the city presentation, a resident with a home value assessed at $150,000 will see a reduction of about $8 in their tax bill. A resident with a $200,000 assessed home value will see their tax bill decrease by just under $14. Finance Director Kelly McGuire issued a reminder during the budget workshop, which also took place virtually before the commission meeting, that these tax reductions only apply to the city ad valorem taxes, which cover about 22% of the city's budget funding. Charges for services account for over 34%.

"The county may raise their taxes, someone else on that tax bill may raise their tax, but the city’s taxes are going down for these homeowners," McGuire said.

City Commissioner Dwight Selby said it's "pretty remarkable" that the city is be able to go to rollback during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“That’s pretty spectacular," Selby said. "My hat's off to the budget advisory board, and to this commission, but mostly to staff. We set policy and they do all the heavy lifting behind the scenes.”

City Commissioner Troy Kent agreed, saying that Ormond Beach is "on the right track."

“We are financially healthy and it has been a priority of ours for a very long time," Kent said.

 

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