The City of Dade City has set its tentative millage rate at 7.14 mills for fiscal year 2020-2021 — the same property tax rate established the past several years.
Dade City commissioners voted unanimously to set the rate at a July 28 virtual meeting.
At 7.14 mills, ad valorem tax revenues in the city’s general fund are anticipated to generate about $2.04 million — an increase of $106,710 from last year, due to new construction, higher values due to property improvements, and so on.
Under state law, once a tentative millage rate has been set, the city cannot raise it before the start of the fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. The commission does, however, have the option to reduce the rate before then.
Traditionally, the commission has voted to use the rollback rate as the proposed millage, while instructing city staff to later set a lower rate for a particular fiscal year; the rollback rate is the millage rate that would collect an equivalent level of ad valorem taxes in the next fiscal year as in the current fiscal year.
However, this year’s rolled-back rate — 6.354 mills — is lower compared to prior years.
In effect, by setting the tentative millage rate at the higher 7.14, the city is able to help make up ground after a hospital property was taken off the tax rolls, which decreased the general fund upwards of $95,000 last year, explained Dade City Manager Leslie Porter.
Porter said the 7.14 millage rate “will help bring us back to where we were (revenue-wise) a couple of years ago.”
What usually is a rather laborious process to get commissioners to agree on a tentative property tax rate was a cut-and-dry scenario this time around, Dade City Mayor Camille Hernandez pointed out.
“Traditionally, this has been a very long conversation because the numbers didn’t look like they do here this evening,” Hernandez said.
Meanwhile, commissioners have scheduled virtual workshops on Aug. 11, Aug. 18 and Aug. 25. Each meeting will begin at 4 p.m.
A tentative budget public hearing is scheduled for Sept. 10 at 5:30 p.m.
Commissioner Scott Black was informally recognized a few months ago for his 30th year serving on the Dade City Commission.
The Florida League of Cities (FLOC) have since acknowledged Black’s milestone, sending a formal letter to the municipality, as well as mailing him a resolution and a service pin.
Normally, a FLOC representative will make a presentation during a commission meeting, but not this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Black, who’s been on the commission since 1990, thanked his colleagues for the additional recognition. “It’s been a pleasure to serve,” he said, “and it seems like just yesterday I started.”
Another career milestone also was shared during the meeting — as Dade City Police officer Pete Emerson was recognized for 25 years of service with the city.
Emerson is currently in his second stint as a school resource officer (SRO) at Pasco High School. He was the school’s SRO from 1997 to 2002, then returned to the role last year after having served in other department roles, including detective.
Underscoring Emerson’s longevity — newly sworn-in Commissioner Knute Nathe noted he was a student at Pasco High when Emerson was SRO.
The mayor took time to congratulate both Black and Emerson on their respective accomplishments: “Those are huge numbers and something very special and to be proud of, so thank you for your service to your community, and in Emerson’s case, keeping our young people safe over there (at Pasco High).”
Published August 05, 2020
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