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City Announces Support for Tax Hike

Fri, Sep 14, 2018 at 1:05PM

Port Orange, FL - The City of Port Orange announced today its full support of a proposed tax increase.

“The City of Port Orange today announces its intention to increase the millage rate from last year’s rate of 4.4881 to 4.6288, which is a 3.13% increase over last year and 9.99% over rollback,” said a release from City Public Information Officer Christine Martindale. “The only service addition this year is medical transport. The net cost of the medical transport to the general fund is estimated to be $217,047, which equates to .0712 mill.”

Facing a tax increase of at least nine percent over rollback, members of the City Council last month seemed to be willing to entertain a double-digit hike to fund the purchase of a used ambulance and the hiring of four personnel to better respond to emergency calls in the City of Port Orange.

The debate, which has raged for the last seven months, has led to lively discussions between council members and residents who cite the delayed response times by other departments which led to numerous life-threatening situations.

This issue of medical transport response times was a topic just this week at the Volusia County Council Meeting when Councilwoman Heather Post recounted her personal dilemma when she suffered an emergency and had to decide what method of transport was best.

Post ultimately chose to have her husband drive her to the hospital instead of waiting for an EMS transport. Post spend four days in ICU with a blood clot that she fears would have been fatal had she not been at the hospital in time for life-saving treatments to be administered.

The tax increase is a line item on the agenda for next week’s Port Orange City Council Meeting, with time allotted for discussion prior to a roll-call vote for adoption of the final millage rate for Fiscal Year 2019.

The City Council meets at 6:30 Tuesday, September 19, 2018 in Council Chambers at City Hall. Residents are welcome to attend.

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