Thursday, June 21, 2018
News Roundup

St. Pete Beach to reduce property tax rate

ST. PETE BEACH — Taxpayers can expect to see a reduction in the rate they pay to the city for property taxes.

The City Commission will meet at 6 p.m. to set the maximum property tax rate for next year — a rate that by state law cannot be increased in the final $25.5 million budget slated to be approved in September.

But just how much of a rate cut property owners will get is still in question.

City Manager Mike Bonfield is recommending reducing the present rate of $3.28 per $1,000 of assessed, taxable property value to $2.86.

The city's citizen Finance and Budget Committee has recommended a slightly higher tax rate of $3 to allow a special fund to be created for anticipated projects or expenditures.

Both rates would result in a rate reduction for taxpayers, with the savings estimated at between $51.28 and $42.50 for every $100,000 in taxable value.

However, since property values are increasing in St. Pete Beach, some property owners could actually see an increase in their taxes.

Even with the approximately $600,000 decrease in property tax revenues, Bonfield is proposing shifting $1.8 million from the general fund mostly to capital projects. Most of the transfer money represents savings generated by the closing of the city's police department.

With the extra money in hand, city commissioners want to put together a priority list for future projects.

Those projects, briefly discussed last week, include completing road redesign and resurfacing of all of Pass-A-Grille, expansion or moving of the library, creating design guidelines for Pass-a-Grille and construction of a re-signed couplet roadway in the city's downtown/Corey Avenue area.

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