Budget boosted by final valuations
Longboat Key Finance Department budget analyst Sandi Henley had a nice fiscal surprise at last week’s Commission meeting.
“We have real good news; we are not as far down as we thought we were in June,” said Henley.
Henley was referring to the fact that the Town had built its budget around both Manatee and Sarasota Counties’ preliminary property estimates in values island-wide, which was released in June. The final numbers, which were released July 1, showed that the aggregate property value loss of 1.33% instead the earlier June estimate of 1.55%.
Henley said the difference will add about $18,000 to the Town’s Operating Budget, which will next be considered in September after the Commission’s summer hiatus.
Henley said that this year the tax to pay for upcoming beach projects will be imposed and District A, which encompasses Gulf-side properties, is forecasted at .8 mills.
District B, which encompasses anyone not Gulf-side, is forecasted at .2 mills for the beach.
Henley added that the millage will be used to fund about $9.6 million for sand to address three island hotspots of erosion and $6.3 million for groins or other structures to help anchor the erosive North end of the Key. The money will pay off bonds for the structures over 20 years and the sand over five years.
The Commission agreed to set the Town’s maximum millage rate at 1.8872 mills for the Operating Budget with a 6-0 vote. The maximum millage is now the most they can legally impose on taxpayers. The proposed Town Manager’s Budget requests only a 1.8872 millage. Last year, the millage was set at 1.8872 as well.
As stated, the Commission will continue its Budget Hearings with the goal of adopting a final Longboat Key Budget on or before Sept. 24.