During a Tallahassee City Commission budget workshop on Wednesday, February 8, City Commissioner Jack Porter discussed the possibility of raising property taxes to pay for more city services.
Citing the history of the city’s property tax, Commissioner Porter stated over the last 20 years the city has increased the property tax rate by four-tenths – “which is very little.”
The city’s current millage rate, established for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2022, and ending September 30, 2023, is 4.1 mills and is projected to raise approximately $56.5 million.
In 2020, the same millage rate resulted in tax revenue of approximately $47.3 million. The 19.5% ($9.2 million) increase in property tax revenues since 2020 is due to the increase in residential property values.
Porter stated that people want more services and also noted that some community needs that used to be met by the federal and state government are no longer being met and cities have to step in.
“I’m sure its not popular for any one to say and I’m not making a motion, I do think we need to consider whether we are going to increase our millage rate at some point,” Porter said.
Porter added, “That is a conservation that needs to happen in a vey deliberate community led way.. sometime soon.”
Porter stated that the new services that she would like to see include light snacks at city commission meetings, a $15 minimum wage, a social worker for case management duties related to affordable housing, and more small city events at city maintained parks.
After the workshop Commissioner Porter took to Twitter to express her concerns about prior spending decisions.
Porter tweeted, “We’ve seen financial mismanagement in local government, including bloated executive salaries and huge taxpayer subsidies for big developers — while Tallahassee’s neighborhoods are left behind.”
Porter added, “Folks are concerned about stewardship of their tax dollars. Leon County property taxes were raised in 2020 amid the pandemic, which I opposed. I also proudly opposed the reckless, wasteful $27 million giveaway of Blueprint funds last year, like the vast majority of the public.”
Porter concluded her remarks by tweeting, “Looking forward to helping lead a more responsible fiscal path forward and reform in local government to make City Hall work better for all in 2023 and beyond!”