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Cape city manager recommends property tax rate reduction

By Staff | Jul 21, 2017

Cape Coral City Manager John Szerlag has released his FY 2018 FY 2020 Proposed Rolling Budget, which includes a recommendation to reduce the FY 2017 millage rate by 0.25 mils. This will lower Cape Coral’s property tax rate from 6.75 to 6.50 a 3.8 percent decrease. When added to previous reductions, the city has cut the property tax rate by 18 percent since FY 2013.

“This will be the fourth reduction in the millage rate in the past five years,” said Szerlag in a prepared statement released Friday afternoon. “Not many cities in the state of Florida have reduced their millage at the pace of Cape Coral.”

To provide the recommended millage reduction, Szerlag has deferred five General Fund positions to next year, adjusted capital spending and increased fund balance.

The city’s General Fund is $208,002,889 and supports city services such as police, fire, public works, parks and recreation, planning, community development and administrative support services. For the FY 2018 budget, the city manager’s proposed millage rate of 6.50 will generate property tax revenue of $82.3 million, which is $1.9 million more than the “rollback” rate of 6.344 and $392,301 more than the projected revenues for FY 2018 in last year’s rolling budget. The “rollback” rate is the property tax rate that would generate the same amount of property tax revenues approved for the prior year.

The proposed budget also maintains the public service tax rate at 7 percent and the cost recovery rate at 64 percent for the fire services assessment. These two revenue sources will produce estimated revenue of $33.4 million.

On the expenditures side, the proposed budget continues to invest in the city’s infrastructure. The budget allocates $6.5 million for local road paving, $100,000 for streetlight improvements, $312,000 for median improvements and $520,000 for alley paving.

The city’s FY 2018 operating budget, including the millage rate, all revenues and expenditures must be approved by City Council. The proposed budget will be discussed at upcoming workshops and adopted at two public hearings in September. The workshops are scheduled for Aug. 8 and Aug. 10, at 1 p.m., in Council Chambers. The budget hearings are Sept. 7 and Sept. 21 at 5:05 p.m. in Council Chambers. The public is invited to attend.

The City Manager’s FY 2018 FY 2020 Proposed Budget can be accessed on the main portal page www.capecoral.net under “Latest City News.”

Source: City of Cape Coral