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Ormond Beach Observer Tuesday, Jul. 21, 2020 3 weeks ago

Volusia County presents proposed millage rate at 'partial rollback'

The first budget hearing is scheduled for Sept. 15.
by: Jarleene Almenas Associate Editor

With a $805.9 million budget for fiscal year 2020-2021 prepared by staff, Volusia County is proposing a millage rate of 5.45 mills, a reduction of 3% from last fiscal year's tax rate.

The first budget hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 15. The proposed millage rate is a "partial rollback," meaning that while the rate is decreasing, the county will still collect more taxes compared to last fiscal year, as property values have increased from $36.6 million in 2019 to $39.8 million in 2020. The proposed millage rate of 5.45 mills means $5.45 will be collected for every $1,000 of taxable property value.

At the Volusia County Council meeting on Tuesday, July 21, County Manager George Recktenwald said the proposed budget was built on the direction the council gave regarding the five-year budget forecast at their last meeting. 

“It’s a very fiscally responsible budget that recognizes the uncertain times that we’re in," Recktenwald said.

County Budget and Administrative Services Director Tammy Bong said taxable property values are just now recovering from the 2007-2008 economic crash, with residential property making up 68% of the taxable value. In Volusia County, 71.1% of the properties are valued at $150,000 or less. 

Bong also walked the County Council through the operating budget, of which ad valorem taxes make up 35.02% of revenues. Those $208.5 million are budgeted largely for public protection, which will utilize 38.1% of ad valorem dollars, and the Volusia County Sheriff's Office, which will get 26.4%. 

Combined with the other nine county tax funds — such as the library, Volusia Forever and mosquito control millage rates — the average family living in an unincorporated area in the east side of the county with a home valued at $125,000 will pay $106.50 less in taxes for the 2020-2021 year, according to the county budget presentation. 

The average family living within city limits on the east side of the county with a home valued at $125,000 will pay $50.81 less in taxes.

Volusia County Council Chair Ed Kelley thanked staff for their budget presentation.

“It was clearly presented today in a way that’s easy to understand,” he said.


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