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Tax in Seminole might creep up

If property taxes increase in the city this year, it will be by pennies.

In the preliminary budget released Tuesday, the city's staff is proposing a tax rate that is less than 0.4 percent higher than this year's rate.

If the council approves the rate this summer, the owner of an average Seminole home assessed at $60,182 that qualifies for the homestead exemption would pay $123.62 in city property tax next year, 48 cents more than this year.

If the council decides to keep the tax rate the same as it was this year, the staff would have to trim $4,300 from the budget of almost $4-million.

Even though taxes aren't expected to rise much, the city's overall budget will increase by more than 6 percent. The additional money is expected to come from grants, increases in franchise fees, higher interest income and fees from recreation programs.

The city tax is only one part of a property owner's tax bill. It also includes taxes from the county, the Pinellas County School Board, the Juvenile Welfare Board and other government agencies.

Seminole's proposed budget includes a new community police officer, to be paid for in part with a federal grant. It also includes money to upgrade the recreation center's playground and to install a sprinkler system there.

Salary costs also are expected to rise because Seminole has hired its first city manager, Frank P. Edmunds, who will start work at the end of July.

Figuring your taxes

Seminole is proposing a 1995-96 tax rate of 3.5136 mills, a 0.38 percent increase in the current rate of 3.5 mills. A mill is equal to $1 for every $1,000 of assessed, taxable property value. To determine what your city taxes would be, take the assessed value of your house and subtract the $25,000 homestead exemption, if you qualify. Divide that number by 1,000 and multiply by 3.5136.