County sets property tax at 8 mills for now

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Tax rate may go lower for upcoming year

By The Staff

The property tax millage for Levy County is tentatively set at 8 mills, but that could change as the Board of Commissioners keeps whittling the budget for the upcoming fiscal year that starts Oct. 1.

County Coordinator Fred Moody said property owners will see the 8 mills rate on their TRIM (Truth in Millage) notices that will be mailed out, but that rate is not set in stone and it could go down.

The commission is required by state law to set a tentative millage rate by August 4, which was Tuesday, and that is the maximum rate it could charge in the coming year, but it is allowed to lower the millage rate after the August 4 deadline to report the millage to the state. Commissioners discussed setting the millage at 8.3763 in order to raise the same amount of money as last year’s rate of 7.4212 did.

Because of declining property values, revenue would decrease considerably under last year’s rate of 7.4212. At 8.3763, the county would have raised the current year’s property tax revenue of $16.602,960. At 8 mills per $1,000 of property value, the county will raise $15,923,670 which would be up from $14,771592 at the current millage.

“Even at 8 mills you would have a tax decrease,” Moody said. That’s because current revenues are $16,602,960, about $700,000 more than the tentative millage would raise due to falling property values.

“That will be the tentative millage that will go out on the TRIM notice,” Moody said. The notice will be mailed later this month. Moody said the millage could go lower as the commissioners continue whittling on the budget in workshops session leading up to the budget public hearings on Sept. 10 and 21.

In other actions, the commission also set the assessments for the coming year, choosing to keep the road, landfill/sloid watse, and fire assessments the same. Only the Emergency Medical Service assessment will change, going to $76 per residents, 6 cents per square foot for commercial buildings, 15 cents per SF for instutitons and 1 cent per SF for industrial/warehouse structures. Moody said that is a preliminary rate and there will be a public hearing on the assessments on September 8.

He said even if the commission had gone with the maximum assessment recommended for EMS it would have only provided 76 percent of the budget. He said the tentative level will fund 58 percent of the EMS budget with the rest of the money coming from the General Fund.