BROOKSVILLE — The Brooksville City Council will hold the final hearing on its 2018-19 city budget and tax rate at 5 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall. The council has set a tentative property tax rate at 6.2 mills, or $6.20 in tax for every $1,000 in appraised taxable value.
That is an 11-percent decrease from last year, largely because the city disbanded its police department and contracted with the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement services in the city limits. The current year’s tax rate is 6.9763 mills.
Proposed city expenses for the new year total $30 million, up from $21 million in this year’s budget. A one-time pension payment to former police department employees from the city’s trust and agency funds accounts for $7.3 million of that, according to city finance director Jim Delache. In addition, the city is spending $2 million of its proprietary funds to build a ditch needed at the water plant.
General-fund expenses decrease under the budget proposal to $5.37 million in 2018-19; the current-year amount is $6.65 million. Losing the police department meant losing nearly 30 city employees.
Council members considered raising fire fees so the fire department could provide advanced life-support services, rather than depend on Hernando County for that service, but they opted to keep fees at the current rate.
The budget proposal includes a 5-percent pay raise for all employees except department directors, at a cost of $176,419. Directors will get a raise later, based on their performance, Delache said.