published: Friday, August 03, 2012
County millage will not rise
By CHRISTOPHER TUFFLEY
SEBRING -- The county and the city of Avon Park have announced their proposed millage for fiscal year 2012-2013.
The county's rate will positively not be higher than in 2011-2012, when it was $7.10 per $1,000 of property value, said Jack Richie, chairman of the county board of commissioners. "That is only the maximum it could be," he said. "It still could go lower."
In Avon Park, city manager Julian Deleon had even better news. He told the city council, "Based on our annexation program, our utility growth, and our restructured city operations, I will be ... proposing the lowest municipal millage rate for all of Highlands County."
Deleon said he recommends a drop from the rate in 2011-2012 from $5.95 to $3.60 per $1,000 of property value. Deleon had originally recommended a 33 percent drop to $3.95, but then found other savings.
He said, "This (the lower rate) has nothing to do with APPD funding levels. As a matter of fact, the APPD funding level continues at around $2 million annually.
"Even at this lower rate, we are still leaving $194,482 in the city's contingency funds, plus your city reserves at an all-time high of approximately $1.6 million for emergencies."
One unknown, Deleon added, is the amount of recreation funding the county will be passing back to the city.
Richie said the commission is still discussing the county budget and has yet to decide how much it can afford to allot to recreation and parks.
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