County’s millage rate remains second-lowest in state

Monroe County has the lowest

This is the graphic that County Administrator Jonathan Lewis presented to the commissioners on Jan. 25. Image courtesy Sarasota County

During budget workshops in recent years, County Commission Chair Alan Maio has made a point of noting that the board members have kept the county millage rate one of the lowest in the state.

On Jan. 25, County Administrator Jonathan Lewis had an update on that very topic.

Lewis prefaced his remarks by telling the commissioners that he wanted to take “a moment to brag on Sarasota County.”
Then, with laminated copies to hand out to the board members, Lewis presented a map with the millage rates for the 2022 fiscal year, which began on Oct. 1, 2021. Of Florida’s 67 counties, Lewis said, only Duval does not impose a countywide millage rate on an annual basis.

Sarasota County once again has the second-lowest rate in Florida, he added.

Monroe County, which includes the Florida Keys, has the lowest rate, the map says.

The millage rate for Sarasota County this fiscal year is 3.4561. The map showed seven counties with millage rates ranging from 2.6149 to 3.9999.

One mill represents $1 for every $1,000 of property value.

The highest millage rates, the map noted, were in a range from 8 mills to 10.3624. Twenty-four counties were in that group, the map indicated. Among them is DeSoto County.

Manatee County falls in the group with rates from 6 to 7.9999 mills.

As the Sarasota County commissioners work on their budget for the upcoming fiscal year, Maio often points to a slide that the staff of the Office of Financial Management provides them. It shows how much extra property tax revenue the county would have received if the board had not kept the millage at a steady rate over the past years.

This is a chart that county financial management staff presented the commissioners on June 22, 2021, during a budget workshop. It shows the millage rate trends over the past two decades, and it states how much extra revenue the county could have collected if previous boards had kept the rate at the level set for the 2000 fiscal year or for the 2007 fiscal year. ‘ESLPP’ refers to the voter-approved millage rate levied each year to provide revenue for the county to use in purchasing environmentally sensitive lands and property slated for future parks. The board did not end up imposing additional millage this fiscal year for the Mental Health Care Special District. Image courtesy Sarasota County