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Budget doesn't call for tax rate increase

Residents can expect no tax rate increase next year.

The city plans to make do with the same amount of money, $63-million, as it did this year. A slight increase in property values will likely be offset by decreases in other sources of income.

"Property taxes make up only 10 percent of our budget," said Management Services Director Kim Adams. "It's really a small segment of our revenue. The increase probably will be offset by some other decrease."

Under the proposed tax rate, an average Largo home assessed at $65,000 with a homestead exemption would pay city taxes of $136.

A homeowner's total tax bill also can be affected by other factors, such as higher or lower assessments and taxes by other agencies, such as the county and School Board.

Included in next year's budget are $900,000 for a ladder truck, $1.5-million for adding a right of way on West Bay Drive near downtown, $1.6-million for a fire station and $2.2-million for drainage improvements, said Assistant City Manager Henry Schubert.

Public hearings on the budget are scheduled for 7 p.m. Sept. 5 and 19 at the City Commission meeting, but Adams recommends residents get involved early.

"Public hearings are the end of the process," Adams said. "I'm not saying minds can't be changed at the public hearings, but it's better to get input prior to the hearings, know what's going on and talk to the commissioners about it. If citizens really want to get involved, come to meetings in July and August."

The Finance Advisory Board will review the budget July 6, 13, 20 and 27. The City Commission will review the budget at 4 p.m. Aug. 22 and 24.

FIGURING

YOUR TAXES

Largo is proposing a 1995-96 tax rate of 3.4 mills, the same as this year. A mill is equal to $1 for every $1,000 assessed taxable property value. To determine your city taxes, take the assessed value of your home and subtract $25,000 homestead exemption if you qualify. Divide that number by 1,000 and multiply by 3.4.

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