Parkland decides to lower millage rate

Even as many other cities in the region either increase the millage rate to cope with falling property tax revenue, Parkland, which is expected to see a surge in construction in the near future, has gone in the opposite direction.

At a recent City Commission meeting, city officials unanimously voted to lower the millage rate from the current 4.02 to 3.99. Staff had recommended staying with the current rate.

The decision to lower the millage rate is based on the increased in gross taxable property value. The figure went up from $2.9 billion in fiscal year 2012 to $3 billion this year. Due to the increase, the city will collect more than $250,000 in additional ad valorem revenue even with the decreased rate.

The city’s fire assessment rate will stay at 210 for residential and $0.50 per square feet for commercial properties. The cost of fire services will go up 3.67 percent in 2013. Solid waste assessment for residential units will increase $10.08 or 3 percent to $338.52.

Due to construction in the Wedge area, the city anticipates $1.1 million in additional building permit related revenues, Finance Director Nancy Morando said. “Broward Sheriff’s Office is adding two officers, a deputy and a sergeant. One full-time position will be decreased while 15 par time positions will be added.”

The city has set aside $120,000 for its 50th anniversary celebrations and $43,000 for school programs. Employees will get a raise of 3 percent and a merit increase of 0.2 percent.

The city’s capital improvement projects for 2013 include phase four of Pine Trails Park, roadway and sidewalks improvements, installation of energy efficient lights at Pine Trails, and $250,000 for the western fire station. Entry signs are to be put up at 10 locations. The city also proposes to spend $200,000 on the sound and lighting at the amphitheater.

“We have cut as far as we can cut,” Mayor Michael Udine said. “Most cities are voting to increase their millage when they advertise. We figure out ways to do more and more with less.”

Parkland is one of the few cities in the county that have seen an increase in property values this year. The situation is further expected to improve in the next few years as a number of developers have expressed interest in building within the Wedge area. Keeping in view the expected increase in population, the city has set aside land in the area for an elementary school, middle school and a high school.

Article source: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/broward/parkland/fl-cspf-parklandmillage-0726-20120726,0,5981995.story?track=rss

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