Chair Al Maio points out that the 3.912 rate will not have risen for 18 fiscal years
Reaffirming they have no intention of raising the county’s total millage rate, the Sarasota County Commission voted unanimously on July 13 to certify the proposed ad valorem millage rates for the 2017 fiscal year and to authorize the mailing and publishing of public hearing notices for the county’s FY17 non-ad valorem assessments.
The aggregate of the General Operating, Debt Service and Mosquito Control millage rates is 3.912. The General Operating and Debt Service rates will be down slightly in the new fiscal year compared to the current one, a chart shows, but the Mosquito Control rate will rise by 0.0059. Nonetheless, the total is unchanged from the FY16 rate.
Kim Radtke, director of the county’s Office of Financial Management, pointed out on July 13 that the votes meant the board could not raise the millage rate or assessments subsequent to the advertisement. However, it could lower them.
Her July 13 memo to the commissioners noted that the only ad valorem budget adjustment staff had made since they reviewed the proposed budget in late June reflected the fact that the county’s taxable property value was 0.5 percent higher than the preliminary taxable value.
The board will hold its last workshop on Aug. 22 on the county’s proposed FY17 budget of $1,085,822,265. It will conduct public hearings on the budget on Sept. 12 and Sept. 26, with one session in North County and one in South County.
Commissioner Christine Robinson made the July 13 motion, with Commissioner Carolyn Mason seconding it. Robinson alluded to the fact that both she and Mason will be stepping down from the board in November because of term limits, and the millage rate had not changed since either had been on the commission.
Mason first was elected to the board in 2008. Robinson was appointed to the board in late 2010; she won election to her seat in 2012.
Chair Al Maio pointed out, “For the last 18 fiscal years [counting FY17], we did not raise the millage rate.” In fact, he added, in some of those years, it was lower.