By Dr. Marc Crail District 4 City Council Rep. Your Mount Dora City Council and City Staff met August 25th from 9:00-2:30 to continue formulating our budget for the 2020-2021 budget year that begins on October 1. Rather than to get into specifics at this point I'd like to give you some general information. The final millage rate will be set by Council on September 24th. Regular readers already know this but I want to remind you that I'm not reporting to you on behalf of Mount Dora City Council. I am one of seven members and what follows comes strictly from my own perspective.
Within the past week or so you and I received our TRIM Notice from the Lake County Taxing Authority. That TRIM Notice DOES NOT reflect what your actual tax bill will be when you get it in the fall. Every taxing agency in Lake County is required to provide you with the highest possible millage rate that they might possibly decide to levy on taxpayers. I can't speak for the County Commission, The Lake County Water Authority, The North Lake Hospital Board, The Lake County Schools or the Lake County EMS but in Mount Dora, we would rather estimate a higher potential millage rate and then just before the deadline when we have as much information as we can gather, we reduce the millage rate to something lower. For example, on your TRIM you will see that we chose 6.2000 mills but I think that it will be lowered to 5.9770 mills. That appears to be the number that we can balance our budget with.
Every homeowner has some different circumstances from his/her next door neighbor. Here are a couple of examples. These examples assume that you own your own home and that it is your primary residence. That means you qualify for a "Homestead" exemption. Most of us fall into that category. In each of these examples your Mount Dora taxes would be virtually flat if we do settle on 5.9970 mills.
EXAMPLE #1: A home with a 2020 market value of $182,607 would pay $3.23 more Ad Valorem taxes to the City of Mount Dora next year than was due last year. That's about 30 cents a month more.
EXAMPLE #2: This house with has a higher assessed valuation, $260,000. It has a market value of over $500,000. This homeowner would only pay about 22 cents more next year in Mount Dora Ad Valorem tax than this year. That's about 2 cents per month more than this year.
You might pay more or less than our two example houses. If you've owned your home for 25 years you will likely pay less. If you just moved in last week I think you will likely more. Please keep in mind that Mount Dora isn't the only taxing entity. School taxes are about 38% of your taxes, Lake County accounts for about 24% of your tax bill, Mount Dora gets about 28% and other taxes Like Saint Johns River Management District and the North Lake Hospital District, etc. account for the remaining 9% or so.
Here are some other related items:
We have heard from the State of Florida that they anticipate that Mount Dora will be receiving about $382,000 less from them this year. That represents about a 16% loss in state funds. We can all understand that the virus has resulted in big losses in state sales taxes, etc.
Mount Dora Electric customers will not see an increase.
Mount Dora Sanitation rates will increase by 2.5%.
Mount Dora Water/Waste Water rates will increase by 3.6%.
Mount Dora Storm Water rates will increase by 50 cents per month.
We'll keep working on the budget as we get more data right up until our deadline. I have been very impressed with the hard work of our City staff and my council colleagues.
My quote for you today comes from Thumper, of the Disney movie Bambi who said; "My momma always said...If ya can't say nuffin nice, ya shouldn't say nuffin at all." I think that rabbit had a very smart momma, don't you?
By Dr. Marc Crail District 4 City Council Rep.
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