The Flagler County Commission agreed in principle to raise the property tax 12 percent and use a combination of reserves and other one-time dollars to close what, going into the budget season, had been a gaping deficit provoked by new expenses, accounting issues and falling property values.
Though Flagler Beach’s tax rate is again increasing, most property owners will see their tax bills decrease. For Acting City Manager Bruce Campbell, budget season closes a crucial part of his on-going job interview.
Palm Coast City Council members are trying desperately to hold the line on property tax increases, but will likely not succeed entirely. The final tax rate will still not translate into a tax increase for most.
The declines, for the fourth year in a row, will define to what extent local governments must either raise taxes or cut services as they prepare next year’s budgets. Governments have little room to cut anymore, short of vitals services.
First-time home buyers would get a 50 percent property tax break on the value of their home. Voters would decide whether to cap property tax assessment increases for commercial properties at 5 percent.
Supporters of the overhaul say it’ll fill up empty homes. Critics say it’ll also slash local government revenue and further shift the tax burden to current residents, exacerbating inequities.
Gov. Rick Scott today unveiled to a tea party crowd a budget that would cut an unprecedented $5 billion and provide for $4 billion in tax cuts, $1.4 billion of which in property taxes. Scott’s details are few.
It’s a resilient urban legend: the top 5 percent of earners pay over 50 percent of taxes, and over half our citizens pay no taxes. It’s also false. Time to set the record straight.
The Flagler County Tea Party Group will hold a straw ballot on Enterprise Flagler’s tax-and-build “economic development” initiative on Sept. 21. Enterprise Flagler may then ask the county commission to pull the measure from the ballot.
One proposal would increase the half-cent sales tax by a super-majority vote of the county commission, bypassing voters.