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After reviewing the City of Sarasota's proposed fiscal year 2019-20 budget, the city commission on Monday set the preliminary operating millage rate at 3.2632 mills, unchanged from last year’s rate—and one of the lowest in the state of Florida. The city’s new Parks and Recreation District is being funded with a $7.2 million transfer from the general fund and no additional millage being levied. 

The preliminary millage rate will be transmitted to the Sarasota County Property Appraiser, which will compile all proposed millage rates for individual properties and issue a TRIM (Truth in Millage) notice to property owners later this summer. Taxing authorities, including the City of Sarasota, cannot raise preliminary millage rates once they are established; however, rates can be lowered. 

The assessed value of property increased citywide by 7.1 percent this year, based on the July 1 estimate. Values in the Newtown Community Redevelopment Area increased just over 8.4 percent, with the taxable value at $173,489,435. With the preliminary operating millage rate of 3.2632 and debt service millage of 0.2339 (a 7.6 percent decrease from last year’s debt service rate), a homeowner with a taxable value of $200,000 would pay $699.42 a year, or $58.28 a month, in city taxes on their property tax bill.  Only about 25 percent of all Florida municipalities have a lower millage rate. 

Two public hearings on the proposed budget are scheduled: 

  • Tuesday, Sept. 3:  6 p.m. at City Hall
  • Monday, Sept. 16:  6 p.m. at City Hall

Anyone interested in speaking about the proposed budget is invited to do so at one of the meetings. The proposed budget and budget workshops can be viewed on the city’s website. For more information, contact finance director Kelly Strickland at 941-365-2200, ext. 4124.

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