City Discusses Possible Millage Rate Increase

 

By: Bryan Boggiano

Coral Springs homeowners might pay more in property taxes if the city commission approves a millage rate increase. 

City staff and commission members met on June 23 at a workshop to discuss the economic state of the city, which continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. One item on the agenda was increasing the millage rate.

The millage rate is the tax paid on every $1,000 on a property’s taxable value. The revenue from this tax helps fund city services such as public safety, emergency management, parks and recreation, and infrastructure. 

Current Rate

In 2018, the city began reshaping the financial trajectory to promote positive growth over a five-year period, said Catherine Givens, assistant city manager. She said that incremental increases would allow the city to keep providing services, operate efficiently and keep up with inflation. 

According to Givens, keeping the current $5.8732 millage rate in 2022 would result in $2.8 million more for the city and create a $1.2 million deficit. A reduction to $5.6296 would result in a $3.9 million deficit. 

“Both of these millage rate scenarios would require budget reductions or use of reserves to balance the budget, resulting in negative impacts to services and the financial stability of the city,” she said. 

Proposed Rate

Givens proposed an increase to $6.2232 to commissioners. For an average home in the city, worth around $400,000 at the end of 2020, the average homeowner would pay $183 more in taxes annually. This would generate $6.7 million.

She also discussed increasing the rate to $6.0757, which would increase taxes by almost $146. Additionally, she spoke about an increase to $6.3732, meaning homeowners would pay, on average, about $222 more. 

For the proposed increase to pass, the commissioners would need to vote 4-1 in favor. 

Givens said that considerable time went into factoring in the proposed increase. She said that staff took into account long-term economic sustainability, maintaining a high level of service, and the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“The modest proposed millage rate enables residents to continue to receive great value for their investment and a high level of service while strengthening our financial position to withstand future economic scenarios,” she said. 

Citing the most recent data, Givens said that Coral Springs has the 13th-lowest millage rate out of Broward County’s 31 municipalities. 

The commission last raised the millage rate in 2018 to balance the city budget. In 2020, they voted to leave the rate unchanged.

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Adam Baron Law
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