Parkland tax rate to go down, other fees to go up

— The property tax rate will be lower next year, but other fees likely will rise.

Parkland property values increased over the past year by more than 3 1/2 percent, in part because of new development in both Heron Bay and the Parkland Golf and Country Club.

City Manager Caryn Gardner-Young originally set the tax rate at $4.01 for every $1,000 of assessed value, which is the same rate as last year. Because property values went up, she projected the city would take in an additional $300,000 in revenue.

But Commissioner Mark Weissman had a proposal at Wednesday’s commission meeting: the city has an extra $117,000 in its coffers so far this year, after the fire services contract was renegotiated with Coral Springs, which provides fire and emergency services.

Until now, when Coral Springs transported Parkland patients to a hospital and was reimbursed by insurance plans, it kept the money. The new contract allows for Parkland to collect its share.

Taxes could be slightly lowered and the new-found money could make up the difference, Weissman argued. So, commissioners this week approved a tentative tax rate of $3.9999 for every $1,000 of assessed value.

That means a homeowner who has a house assessed at $400,000 with a $50,000 homestead exemption would pay $1,399.96 for the city portion of the tax bill. That’s a $7 savings for a house with the same assessed value as last year.

But the solid waste fee will rise $10.08 a year, for a total of $338.52.

“We’ve cut as far as we can pretty much cut — to the bone,” Mayor Michael Udine said.

Among new expenses for next year: the city is setting aside $120,000 for its 50th anniversary celebration; $250,000 for a new fire station in the “Wedge” area that the city recently annexed and where it projects new development; $30,000 for 10 entry signs; $625,000 for roadway and sidewalk improvements; and $1.2 million for the design, construction and new fields for Pine Trails Park.

The public is invited to budget workshops at 10 a.m. Aug. 13 and 6 p.m. Aug. 14 at City Hall. The commission will approve the budget in September.

lhuriash@tribune.com or 954-572-2008

Article source: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/broward/parkland/fl-parkland-budget-20120714,0,7608057.story?track=rss

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