Tentative millage rate set after three votes in one night

Matt Algarin

While city leaders admittedly have plenty of projects on the books and not a lot of money to complete them, they were unwilling to jump on board with two motions that would have set the tentative millage rate higher than the current 1.500 mills.

During the July 21 City Council meeting, Councilwomen Prebble Ramswell and Sandy Trammell both put forth motions to increase the tentative millage rate. In Ramswell’s case, a motion to bump the rate up to 1.68 mills, and for Trammell, the jump was to 1.55 mills.

Both councilors told their colleagues the increases would allow them to move forward with much needed stormwater improvements and an updated stormwater master plan.

“I look at this an opportunity to include a higher millage rate to include some of these projects,” Ramswell said. “I would move that we bump up the millage rate a little to tackle some of these stormwater issues we have.”

Ramswell’s proposal died due to a lack of support, and Trammell’s motion was voted down 2-5, as she and Ramswell were the only “yes” votes on the dais.

For his part, Councilman Tuffy Dixon agreed that there are plenty of projects that need to be addressed, but he wasn’t on board with a “tax increase.”

City leaders ultimately voted to set the tentative millage rate at 1.500 mills, which is the current rate. The 1.500 millage rate will provide the city with approximately $6,045,953 in ad valorem tax revenue.

Further budget discussions will be held Sept. 2 and Sept. 16 at 6 p.m. in the City Hall Annex. For more information, see www.cityofdestin.com.