The Board of County Commissioners last week approved a final budget that includes a cut in the millage rate.
The board approved a county-wide millage rate of 7.100, down from the current 7.2442.
A mill is equal to $1 for every $1,000 in taxable personal property.
Each fire control district levies one-half mill and the millage rates for three coastal Municipal Services Taxing Units (MSTUs) were also set.
Those millages are 1.1395 for gulf-front, .9838 for gulf-interior and .9894 for bayside.
The MSTU revenue is bonded as part of the local match of a beach restoration project.
The aggregate millage rate of 7.4947 is 3.66 percent above the rollback rate.
The rollback is that millage which would bring in the same level of revenue as the current year.
According to Property Appraiser Mitch Burke, the BOCC realized an increase in the tax roll of just under 9 percent as property values climbed a fourth-straight year.
That increase was somewhat balanced by the $115,000 gap between the current year’s estimated property roll and the actual roll, according to Clerk of Courts Becky Norris.
Additional reasons beyond increases in tax revenue were to be found with the sheriff’s office move to a new building, new employees in the building and planning departments and realignment to create an office of management and budget, Norris said.
There were also increases in insurance and retirement contributions and a 3 percent cost of living increase for employees.
“We have a very good, responsible budget,” said Administrator Michael Hammond.
Parks and recreation will also jump 7.5 percent and the county’s commitment to the Port St. Joe Redevelopment Agency increased 15 percent to just over $183,000.
In addition, the board’s budgetary responsibilities will transfer from the Clerk of Courts to the BOCC, hence the office of management and budget.
Funding to outside agencies remained flat, with no increases and nearly no cuts to the public library, humane society, senior citizens and health department.
The board will carry forward $7 million in cash, $2.5 million of which is already committed.