It is that time of year again. The city is setting its annual budget for fiscal year 2015-2016, and while the actual budget meetings are not until September, the city is setting all the necessary steps of creating a budget into motion. Specifically, the city is setting the ad valorem tax millage rates.
“The city still plans to maintain one of the lower millage rates,” said City Finance Director Bragg Farmer.
A millage rate is the amount per $1,000 that is used to determine what you have to pay for your ad valorem tax. After the tax appraiser determines the taxable value of properties in the area, he sends it to the city council who uses the value to set the millage rate.
“Property values did go up about six percent this year,” Farmer said.
The millage rate for the current 2014-2015 fiscal year is 1.5 mils, and at the July 6 meeting, the council adopted a tentative millage rate at the same 1.5 mils for the upcoming year. With this millage rate, if your home is worth $300,000, you would pay $450 to the city on your tax bill.
This millage rate would produce about $300,000 more in tax revenue than the previous year because of the overall growth of property values. Because of state requirements, a roll-back rate of 1.5249 mills has also been considered.
However, Farmer said, “We felt we could balance the budget at the lower millage rate.”
Now, the tax collector will send out a TRIM notice, which is information about what homeowners may be paying in taxes on their property. It includes the current milage rate, the current tentative rate and the rollback rate and what would be paid for under each. And don’t worry about these rates going up from what they send.
“For us to raise the milage rate, we cannot do so without contacting every home owner,” said Farmer.
After the notice is sent out, the city council will meet to discuss the budget at a workshop on Aug. 10. However, they will not be voting on anything until the budget meetings, which will take place at 6 p.m. on Sept. 8 and Sept. 21.
For more information, see www.cityofdestin.com or call 837-4242.