After extensive review of the City of Sarasota's proposed Fiscal Year 2020-21 budget, the city commission unanimously set the preliminary operating millage rate at 3.2632 mills, the same millage rate as the current fiscal year. The proposed budget focuses on maintaining essential services while responding to and restoring the economic health of the Sarasota community. With decreased city revenues due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the proposed balanced budget considers financial tightening measures, including no new personnel and $1.1 million in savings citywide due to vacant positions not being funded for the entire year.
The assessed value of property increased citywide by 4.67 percent this year, based on the July 1 estimate by the Sarasota County Property Appraiser. Values in the Newtown Community Redevelopment Area increased 7.89 percent, with the taxable value at $187,184,296. The city’s debt service millage rate for the Sarasota Police Department Headquarters will go down by .0105 mills. When considering a 3.2632 operating millage rate and the lower debt service, the annual tax bill for a homesteaded property with a $200,000 taxable value would be reduced by $2.10. The preliminary millage rate will be transmitted to the Sarasota County Property Appraiser, who will compile all proposed millage rates for individual properties and issue a TRIM (Truth in Millage) notice later this summer.
Two public hearings on the proposed budget are scheduled—one on Thursday, Sept. 10, at 6 p.m., and one on Monday, Sept. 21, at 6 p.m. Interested parties can see the proposed budget on the City of Sarasota website.