published: Wednesday, July 24, 2013
AP slashes property tax rate
By CHRISTOPHER TUFFLEY
AVON PARK -- In a unanimous vote at its regular meeting Monday night, the city council quickly approved a proposed millage rate of $.30 per $1,000 in property value for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.
This means, for example, a home valued at $70,000 would pay $21 in ad-valorem taxes to the city.
There was no discussion, but City Manager Julian Deleon told the council members this was the second year in a row that the millage rate has been lowered.
In 2012, the rate was $5.89 per $1,000, bringing in $1.3 million in tax revenues, he said.
In 2013 the rate was lowered to $3.60 per $1,000, bringing the city $770,000.
The proposed $.30 millage will bring in $64,000. Revenue from utility bills will partly compensate for the difference.
"This proposed large tax cut is the result of the various programs and partnerships implemented," Deleon said. "We have reduced expenditures, and scaled back the work force. On its second year, the contract with the sheriff is saving an estimated $525,000. In fiscal year 2014, I am optimistic," he added. "In 2009, the city couldn't pay its bills. By December of this year, we will be debt free and have $200,000 set aside in the contingency fund and one of the lowest tax rates in the country.
"I am pleased that we have implemented the council's vision on lowering the tax burden on city residents and businesses. We are moving the city's financial model from a tax generating model to a fee-based one."
The proposed budget is available at the city's Web site at www.avonpark.cc/
The first budget meeting is begins 8 a.m. Saturday at the city council chambers.
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