The TC Palm: Martin County considers 2.3 percent tax rate hike

Posted on July 21, 2015

Lidia Dinkova

MARTIN COUNTY — The county wants to spend new tax revenue next year on maintaining roads, pipes, parks and tackling backlogged projects, while attempting to replenish reserves spent fighting the All Aboard Florida passenger rail project, according to the preliminary budget.

Martin County could have at least $9.4 million extra in its coffers from new tax revenue — thanks to higher property values and a proposed 2.3 percent tax rate increase.

The county wants to use $6.2 million of the new tax revenue to maintain its existing infrastructure, while chipping away at the total backlog of more than $250 million, which includes deferred work on park facilities, road resurfacing and stormwater drainage.

The county is proposing a tax rate of $9.39 — up from this year’s rate of $9.18 — for every $1,000 of taxable property. That means the owner of a $250,430 home, with homestead exemptions, would pay about $1,413 in annual property taxes, or about $31.8 more than this year, according to the property appraiser’s office. The calculation does not take into account the 0.8 percent value increase for homesteaded homes.

Overall, Martin County is proposing a $368.2 million budget for next fiscal year, or about 4.67 percent higher than this year’s budget, records show.

The county wants to hire 13 new full-time employees and convert a part-time position into full time, said Jennifer Manning, budget manager.

Ten of the new positions are to remove vegetation from the public right of way. The county wants to spend $731,000 from new tax revenue toward the program.

The 13-1/2 new staff positions are to be funded by tax revenue as well as from gasoline tax collections, Manning said.

The county also proposed allocating $2.4 million to manage the Martin County Golf Course. The golf course was managed by a volunteer residents group, which gave control back to the county last year.

Also on the preliminary budget, Martin County wants to use $1.4 million from new tax revenue to replenish money expended for Martin County’s legal challenge against the All Aboard Florida passenger rail project, and s $1.1 million to cover the increase in the sheriff department’s budget.


WHAT: The Martin County Commission and staff will discuss the proposed budget for next fiscal year

WHEN: 9 a.m. July 27 and 29; After the regular County Commission meeting July 28; 9 a.m. July 30 if necessary

WHERE: Martin County Commission Chambers, 2401 S.E. Monterey Road.

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