Sarasota City Commission approves preliminary ‘rollback’ millage rate for 2022 to hold property tax payments steady from 2021

For homesteaded property with $200,000 taxable value, tax bill would be about $500, city staff says

All regular City Commission meetings are conducted at City Hall, located at 1565 First St. in downtown Sarasota. File photo

Following two days of workshops on the proposed Fiscal Year 2021-22 budget, the Sarasota City Commission voted unanimously on July 13 to approve a “rollback” millage rate of 3.1372 mills for the city’s preliminary operating millage, the City of Sarasota announced.

“The rollback is a reduction from last year’s rate of 3.2632 mills,” a news release explains. The new figure, which is based on an anticipated increase in citywide property values, “holds property taxes steady from the previous year,” the release adds.

“When considering a 3.1372 operating millage rate, the annual tax bill for a homesteaded property with a $200,000 taxable value would be about $500,” the release points out.

“Our professional City staff worked very hard to present a balanced budget that reflects the priorities of the community and the City Commission,” said City Manager Marlon Brown in the release. “The proposed budget provides the level of service our citizens expect and adjusts for the local economy’s continued recovery and challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“The proposed 2021-22 budget fully funds the operations and maintenance of the City’s 62 parks and recreation facilities, despite this being the first year of not receiving an $880,000 subsidy from Sarasota County,” the release also points out. The county gave the city three years of those payments after it transferred several parks to the city, the release notes.

Further, the budget includes funding for at least 12 city-sponsored special events throughout areas of Sarasota, “with consideration of adding more at a future date,” the release continues, and it funds a new closed-captioning service for broadcasts of all city advisory board meetings.

Additionally, the proposed budget maintains “the same high level of service and public safety with 180 sworn Sarasota Police officers,” the release adds.

The budget projects an ending fund balance of about 30%, “well above” the recommended 17% to 25% for local governments, the release points out. Those funds would cover several months of city operations in the event of a disaster or emergency.

The assessed value of property increased citywide by 6.43% this year, based on the July 1 estimate by the Sarasota County Property Appraiser’s Office, the release adds. The value in the Newtown Community Redevelopment Area increased 7.54%, while that of the new Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district for The Bay increased 16.75%. The Bay park is planned for the approximately 53 acres of the city’s downtown waterfront.

A map shows the location of the Newtown Community Redevelopment Area. Image courtesy City of Sarasota

Two public hearings on the proposed budget are scheduled:

  • Wednesday, Sept. 8, at 6 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 21, at 6 p.m.

The proposed budget is available on the City’s website: www.SarasotaFL.gov.

The preliminary millage rate will be transmitted to the Sarasota County Property Appraiser’s Office, which will compile all proposed millage rates for individual properties and issue a TRIM (Truth in Millage) notice later this summer, the release says. Taxing authorities, including the City of Sarasota, cannot raise preliminary millage rates after they have been established; however, rates can be lowered prior to adoption.

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