Citing potential real costs, the Brooksville City Council voted to set the city’s millage rate at 7.0 percent, up from the city manager’s recommended rate of 6.50 percent.
Under his recommendation, Acting City Manager Ron Snowberger, said that the 6.50 percent rate would ensure necessary funds for the capital projects as well as to maintain an adequate reserve balance for city priorities and needs.
“Also in 2022 we’ll have $1.42 million in reserves,” City Finance Director, Autumn Sullivan told the panel.
Mayor Pat Brayton balked at the figure.
“I will tell you that in my opinion looking at this, it scares me,” Brayton said. “I would rather see the figure up to $2.5 to $3 million in reserves.
Meanwhile, citing the real costs of projects already planned by the City, Brayton said the 6.50 figure was also inadequate.
“I realize that this is a tentative rate, but if we get into the budget the (6.50 percent) is not going to cover what we need to do,” he said. “I would rather see Council look at this as a tentative – and only a tentative – rate of 7.0 percent to begin with, and chisel this thing down over the next few weeks and bring it down to a more logical rate.”
Councilmember Betty Erhard disagreed.
“I don’t think that taxpayers should be penalized because of years and years of neglect of our city,” she argued. “Nope, I’m going to stick with 6.5.”
Vice Mayor Robert Battista moved that Brayton’s recommendation that a tentative 7.0 percent millage be accepted by the board.
When the panel was polled Erhard and Blake Bell voted against adopting the recommendation. Council member David Bailey along with Battista and Brayton voted to accept it.
Finally, the motion passed by a vote of 3-2.
A meeting to examine the city’s 2021-2022 budget took place on Aug. 10.