City proposes millage rate increase

Historic City News reporters will be watching Monday night as a tentative city millage rate of 8.146 — an increase of 0.646 over the current 7.5 mills — goes before the City Commission Monday for approval.

Assistant City Manager Tim Burchfield says next year’s budget (October 1, 2011 to September 30, 2012) is balanced at the current 7.5 mills – even with less revenue because of declining property values.

“But the higher tentative rate is suggested if the City Commission decides during the budget process to add projects like the Galimore Center and pool, and continued subsidizing of the Colonial Spanish Quarter,” Burchfield said.

The proposed millage increase is the “rolled-back rate” necessary to maintain current revenue, and can be easily lowered during the budget process, he said.

The tentative rate is necessary to send to the county for preparation of tax notices.

There will be opportunities to examine the budget before final action. The schedule, if approved by commissioners, includes a budget workshop either August 18 or 25, and public hearings September 8 and 22.

The millage increase is part of an agenda which includes discussion of a redesign of the Alcazar Room (City Commission chambers), proposed test ordinances in the mooring field pilot program, the lawsuit against the City by boutique hotel developer Donna Wendler, and developments in planning for the 450 commemoration.

There will be a 450th Workshop at 3:00, prior to Monday night’s regular meeting.

If you are planning to attend — the regular St. Augustine City Commission meeting will begin at 5:00 p.m. Monday and will be held in the Alcazar Room; on the first floor of City Hall, located at 75 King Street in St. Augustine. It will be broadcast live on Comcast Government TV (Cable Channel 3) and is streamed over the Internet.

Photo credits: © 2011 Historic City News staff photographer

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