Weeks, who expects a very low turn-out, is not planning on having an early-voting site for the June 7 special election, which falls on a Friday. The election may cost upwards of $100,000. The commission voted 5-0 to place the initiative on the ballot.
local government taxes
The Flagler County School Board Tuesday evening will approve going to a tax referendum in June, asking voters to increase their property taxes modestly to preserve programs and add security in schools, but the proposal doesn’t have the unanimity two similar proposals had in the last three years.
The school board voted 4-1 to ask voters to approve doubling an existing critical-needs levy, to 50 cents per $1,000 in assessed property value–a decision Board Chairman Andy Dance opposed for being too large, citing “school-funding fatigue” among voters.
The 1st District Court of Appeal, in a 2-1 ruling, said companies such as Expedia and Orbitz cannot be forced to pay local tourist-development taxes on part of the money they collect from customers. The majority found that the disputed amounts relate to reservation charges — not to the actual amounts paid to rent hotel rooms — and described the companies as “conduits.”
The Palm Coast City Council is looking for ways to pay for a $7.5 million a year stormwater infrastructure. Residents’ stormwater fee will go up from $8 to $11.65 a month, while the council has until February to find a permanent solution that may push some fees even higher.
The Palm Coast City Council prides itself on keeping property taxes low, but its array of fees continue to increase steeply, as will utility rates if the council approves a debt refinancing plan that would let the city borrow another $15 million for utility improvements, even though growth in the city has slowed to a drip.
Chamber President Doug Baxter had hoped Palm Coast would “fall in line” with a building-tax moratorium of its own if the county and the school board adopted one. The county did. The school board refused to go along Tuesday evening, calling the proposal irresponsible.
Many questions remained unanswered about the use of the money and the size of the proposed jail it’s supposed to pay for as the Flagler County Commission voted 4-1 to enact a sales tax it feared the public would not have approved at the ballot box this November.
Other Flagler government leaders joined Jon Netts in criticism of of proposed Constitutional Amendment 4, which would limit the tax liability of commercial, rental and vacant properties while lowering the tax liability of first-time home-buyers, but at the expense of local government revenue, which has been battered since 2007.
It’s been a familiar and recurring complaint, but also an inaccurate one: that property taxes keep going up. They don’t. For most people, property taxes fell this year. And for most people, property taxes will either stay flat or fall again in 2013. Here are the city-by-city details.