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Published Jul. 31, 2007

The tax rate for Dunedin property owners will drop at least 13 percent next year, due to a mandate from the Florida Legislature that local governments roll back property tax collections.

Dunedin has to collect about 7 percent less in property taxes, or $1.3-million, next year. And a 9.5 percent increase in the property tax base - due to appreciation and new construction - means the millage rate will need to shrink even lower than 7 percent.

The City Commission has approved a tax rate of no more than $3.56 per $1,000 in assessed value compared to last year's rate of $4.09 per $1,000.

That means a homeowner with a taxable value of $150,000 and a $25,000 homestead exemption would pay about $444.96 in city taxes next year. A home with the same value this year paid roughly $511.68.

Property owners will see the millage rates' impact on their individual parcels after Aug. 20, when the Pinellas County Property Appraiser's Office mails the Truth in Millage, or TRIM, notice.

The City Commission approved the proposed millage rate last week in preparation for the 2007-08 budget negotiations. The first public hearing on the budget is Sept. 6 at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 542 Main St.

The city plans to trim the budget in several ways, including eliminating nine city staff positions through attrition, extending the current hiring freeze and reducing temporary staff, such as library aides and recreation workers.