Tallahassee City Commission moves to cut taxes by $3 million
July 13, 2016
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Today, the City Commission received its seventh update on the City’s budget since January. In addition to continuing discussions for Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17), Commissioners received an update on the current FY16 budget and discussed eliminating the City’s business tax, setting the tentative millage rate, restoring funding levels for capital projects and new funding sources for the Palmer Munroe Teen Center.
To help foster a more business friendly environment, Commissioners indicated support for the elimination of the business tax starting in FY18. According to The Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce, if approved, Tallahassee would be the first city in Florida to eliminate the tax resulting in an approximately $2,000,000 tax break impacting more than 12,000 area businesses.
"The involvement of the community in this year's budget planning has been vital to the process. The Commission is listening and working to prioritize the needs of our citizens," Mayor Andrew Gillum said. "Repealing our business tax makes Tallahassee one of the most business friendly cities in the state and will do a great deal to help existing businesses thrive. This is a game-changing step toward a more dynamic economic future for our city."
Commissioners expressed a desire to focus on restoring funding for capital projects to adequate levels in FY17 and for the next five years. This is in line with the community’s expressed desire to support infrastructure and will ensure that roads and sidewalks are properly maintained and that necessary improvements can be done. Respondents in a recent citizen survey reported that infrastructure and roads were one of the top items that should be funded.
Commissioners also considered funding options for the Palmer Munroe Teen Center to offset the deficit in funding for the center in FY17. Commissioners authorized extending downtown trolley service to better serve State workers and weekday visitors to the Capital City beginning this fall.
Additionally, in accordance with Florida Statute 200.065, Commissioners approved the tentative FY17 millage rate, reducing it from 4.2000 to 4.1000 mills for the City. They also set the tentative millage rate for the Downtown Improvement Authority at 1.000 mills.
A third quarter update for FY16 was also presented during the workshop that detailed cost-savings from re-organization efforts to streamline operations and the day-to-day efforts of City staff to gain efficiencies in service delivery. The Commission voted to reduce the FY16 budget by $1.1 million resulting in an overall reduction of the $4.3 million for this budget year.
Additional budget discussions are scheduled for September 14 and 28 in the City Commission Chambers at City Hall, 300 South Adams Street. FY17 begins October 1, 2016.
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