Volusia County does not raise property taxes in proposed budget.
Written by Kristen Schmutz
Belden Communications News
The Volusia County Council continued its annual budget adoption process on Tuesday, July 11, as it set the preliminary tax rates necessary to support the county's operations in the upcoming fiscal year. Notable among the proposed rates is a reduction in property tax rates for four funds, supported by the county, while others remain unchanged from the previous year.
A significant development for the fiscal year 2023-24 is the introduction of the Public Safety Fund. As part of the budget preparation, the current General Fund property tax levy has two segments: the General Fund property tax and the Public Safety Fund property tax. The latter will serve as the funding source for the Volusia Sheriff's Office.
The combination of a 3.3958 mills General Fund property tax rate and a 1.4541 mills Public Safety Fund rate yields a total rate of 4.8499 mills for the upcoming year, equivalent to the previous fiscal year's rate for the General Fund.
Alongside the General Fund, the preliminary rates encompass a tax rate reduction (rollback) for the Library Fund, the Ponce DeLeon Port Authority, the Municipal Service District (MSD), and the Silver Sands Bethune Beach MSD. The tax rates for the Fire Rescue District, the East Volusia Mosquito Control District, and the voter-approved ECHO and Volusia Forever programs will remain unchanged from the previous year.
The council's vote enables the Property Appraiser's Office to send the annual Truth in Millage (TRIM) notices to property owners in the coming month. These notices will provide property owners with information regarding the proposed tax rates for all taxing authorities. It is important to note that while the proposed tax rates can see a reduction in the future, they cannot be increased.
According to Florida Tax Watch, Volusia County ranks 55th out of 66 counties in the state in terms of per capita revenue, despite being the twelfth most populated county. With a per capita revenue of $1,390.25, the county falls significantly below the statewide average of $2,223.20.
The recommended operating budget for the fiscal year 2023-24 is $1.19 billion, while the General Fund portion for countywide services is $289.2 million.
According to a release, the County Council will finalize the budget and tax rates through a series of public hearings scheduled for 6 p.m. on September 5 and 19. Both meetings will be held in the County Council Chambers at the Thomas C. Kelly Administration Center, 123 W. Indiana Ave., DeLand.
Interested individuals can view the proposed budget here.
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