By Sharon Aron Baron
Projected tax increases for Coral Springs residents will be lower than initially reported on September 7.
After Coral Springs homeowners received the Truth In Millage (TRIM) proposed millage rate increase of .3500, the city estimated the increase to be 57 percent lower, coming in at .1500, according to a statement by the city on Friday.
This is a 2.6 percent tax increase from 5.8732 to 6.0232 mills.
As we reported this week, the commission can reduce the millage rate but cannot increase it once TRIM is set. During the July 28, 2021 meeting, City Manager Frank Babinec assured the city commission staff would work throughout the budget planning process leading up to the first Budget Hearing to bring that number down.
Since then, the city has received clarification on how funding for the Federal American Rescue Plan Act can be allocated and reported. As a result, the millage will be increased only .1500 at the Budget Hearing.
In other words, a home with a $397,066 market value, with an average taxable value of $256,213, will pay approximately $2,293 per year for property taxes and non-ad valorem assessments including fire, stormwater, and solid waste.
In our interview last week with Babinec, he estimated the tax increase for the same home would be $156.77 a year or $13.07 per month. The proposed tax increase will now be much lower at $145 annually or $12.11 per month.
Babinec said the financial sustainability of the city is one of his greatest responsibilities.
“Our city’s five-year forecast originally called for a .2025 increase to the millage rate. I am pleased that city staff was able to further reduce the planned millage increase to .1500.”
From strategic planning to building the fiscal year 2022 budget, Babinec challenged staff to determine their needs versus wants to ensure they could fulfill their vision to be the premier city to live, work, and raise a family.
“The budget process is just that, a process in which we seek public input, take into consideration new information about taxable revenues and federal funding opportunities, which led to a 57 percent reduction to the original proposed millage rate.”
The city’s five-year forecast does not call for an additional millage increase in the fiscal year 2023. The property appraiser’s Office sets the assessed property values of homes each year on December 31st. Home values provided by the appraiser’s office consider taxable value, including Homestead exemptions and portability, not actual home sales.
Staff was able to complete all initiatives in the budget, except they removed park signs costing $250,000 from the 2022 operating and capital budget.
Babinec said the city is looking at alternative sources such as grant funding to pay for the project.
The adopted budget book outlines the strategic and business plan, published once the city commission approves the budget on Wednesday, September 22, 2021.
The first public hearing for the proposed 2022 budget is held at 6:30 p.m. at city hall.
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