ZEPHYRHILLS — A unanimous council voted to keep the millage rate as is for the next fiscal year.
Council members agreed Monday to a tentative rate of 6.1415 for every $1,000 worth of property value, holding the rate steady for at least the third straight year. For a home assessed at $80,000, for instance, the city property tax bill is roughly $491.
Some homeowners could still see their taxes increase if their property value has risen Overall though, city officials anticipate losing close to $27,000 in property tax revenues next year because of broader declining property values. They are also preparing for a roughly $300,000 loss in gas tax revenues if Pasco County commissioners decide to go through with a proposal to change the way such revenues are distributed to the county's six municipalities.
Council president Charlie Proctor lamented the hard hit that would leave on the city's coffers and urged residents to voice their opinions about it with county commissioners.
The council will discuss the proposed $53.7 million city 2014-15 budget at a 6 p.m. workshop Aug. 4. Interim city manager Steve Spina said the spending plan includes a 2 percent raise for employees and the addition of a few positions, including a fire inspector and a deputy city clerk, who will train to eventually succeed longtime clerk Linda Boan when she retires.
"We think we can do what we need to do with the current millage rate," said Spina.
A scheduled discussion on the recruitment process and a job description for a new city manager was tabled until the council's next meeting Aug. 11. Spina was hired in May as a temporary manager, following the resignation of Jim Drumm. Spina, the former manager who left in 2011 after completing a doctorate, has made it known that he will apply for the permanent position.