The millage increase would bring in an extra $476,000, according to the city manager.
BY WAYNE GRANT | CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Ormond Beach city commissioners approved an increased tentative millage rate Tuesday, July 30, setting the stage for public hearings and final votes on the tax and city budget in September.
The proposed rate was set at 4.1181 mills, or about $4.12 per $1,000 of taxable property value. That is 4% higher than the rolled-back rate, or the rate which would yield the same amount of revenue as the year prior.
The current millage rate is 4.0132.
City Manager Joyce Shanahan said an additional $476,000 would be brought into city coffers with the new rate. She said more funds are needed because franchise fees and communications services tax dollars are decreasing $400,000, health insurance costs are budgeted to rise 10% and operating costs, such as fuel and oil, continue to rise.
According to Shanahan, a person with a house valued at $150,000, with a homestead credit of $50,000, would see a $10 increase in their tax bill under the proposed rate, coming in at about $412.
The first public hearing on the city’s budget and millage will be Sept. 3, with the final public hearing Sept. 17.
The approved millage rate will appear on the TRIM (Truth In Millage) notice sent out by the Volusia County tax appraiser.
At the budget workshop, Commissioner Rick Boehm questioned why there would be fewer communications services tax dollars collected by the city.
“My cable bill hasn’t gone down,” he said.
Shanahan said one reason for the tax reduction could be that more people are canceling their land-line telephones.
The millage rate could go down at the meetings in September if the commissioners cut some expenditures from the budget or find an alternate way to pay for the item.
Appearing at the budget workshop was Ed Connor, of Volusia Tax Reform, who opposed a tax increase.
“If you don’t approach this with the idea that you’ll only raise taxes in case of disaster, you’ve lost the debate,” he said. “It’s been a failure of policy for decades and will decimate our business community.”
Mayor Ed Kelley responded that the tax rate is not out of line for the services that Ormond Beach residents receive and that the commission keeps taxes as low as possible.
“We pay the same tax you do,” he said. “I wish there were no tax.”
Commissioner Troy Kent was pleased with the proposed tentative millage rate and budget.
“You really get a bang for your buck when you live in Ormond Beach,” he said. “It’s amazing what you get for your money.”