North Bay Village to keep tax rate the same for upcoming fiscal year

08/04/2014 5:27 PM

08/04/2014 5:28 PM

The North Bay Village commission has voted unanimously July 28 to keep next budget year’s property tax rate at the current level — $5.47 per $1,000 of taxable property value.

Village home owners will see their overall tax bills increase less significantly than last year, when the village raised the property tax rate by 14.6 percent.

For the 2014-15 fiscal year, the owner of a median home in North Bay Village — $106,000 — will pay a property tax bill of $355. This includes a $0.85 rate on top of the $5.47 for debt service for a total rate of $6.3313 per $1,000. The bill estimate assumes the owner qualifies for the $50,000 homestead exemption for living in the home.

Property taxes are calculated from the assessed value of the home, which this year will rise by 1.5 percent because of inflation.

“To me this makes fiscal sense,” said Village Manager Frank Rollason, who did not recommend a decrease because it would take a toll on the village’s reserves. “There are some things that we need to get done and to pay for, and we are able to do that.”

Before voting on how to allocate funds, the commission will hold two public hearings to discuss the budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which starts Oct. 1. The hearings will be held at Village Hall, 1666 Kennedy Causeway, on Sept. 11 and Sept. 22 at 7 p.m.

At the hearing, the city manager will present his proposed budget for the next fiscal year and the public can give their input.

In August, the current and proposed tax rates, the assessed and taxable value of your home, and hearing dates will be sent to all homeowners by the county appraiser in a letter known as the “TRIM notice.” The letter will also include tax rates for county services.

Officials can lower the tax rate or keep it as announced during budget deliberations later on, but will not raise it save extenuating circumstances.

At the meeting, officials also unanimously approved to fund the International Baccalaureate Program at Treasure Island Elementary School at $130,000 for the upcoming school year.

The school district asked the village to submit a letter committing the funds ahead of a vote on the budget because budget deliberations occur after the beginning of the school year.

The village agreed to fund the program for three years last year, but the appropriations still need to be approved every budget cycle. Last week, a heated budget workshop had parents voicing their support of the IB program after the county gave Treasure Island a D grade — a step down from last year’s C grade, 2013’s B, and 2012’s A.

“Despite the drop in the letter grade, I understand that this is the first year, yet we should see an improvement,” Commissioner Eddie Lim said.

Commissioner Jorge Gonzalez said that in a meeting between himself and school officials, administrators agreed to give the commission regular assessments on the plan to improve the school’s performance during public commission meetings.

“I feel confident in the plan that I saw,” Gonzalez said.

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