Eric Williams

Inverness City Manager Eric Williams 

The Inverness City Council approved this week in the first of two meetings the city’s new 2021-2022 budget with a reduced millage rate for property owners.

The council will hold its second meeting to finalize the budget and millage rate at 5:30 p.m., Sept. 21, at city hall, just before its regularly scheduled council meeting.

The city’s 2021-22 budget includes a millage rate of 7.8211, which will help create a general fund of $7.9 million. The previous year’s general fund was $8.6 million.

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The revenues from ad valorem property taxes is expected to raise nearly $4 million. That’s up from $3,883,787 in fiscal 2020-2021. The city’s total revenues, including charges, fees and carry overs, is $44,304,147 in fiscal 2021-2022. That’s up from $43,603,897. Expenditures match revenues under City Manager Eric Williams’ budget proposal.

This is how millage rates work.

One mill in property, or ad valorem taxes, is equal to $1 for each $1,000 of the property’s taxable value. So if a property is worth $75,000, after homestead exemptions, the property owner’s city property taxes will be $586.58. That does not include county or school taxes.

The proposed lowered millage will still generate more money because the taxable value of the city increased $21.4 million from the previous year, according to the Citrus County Property Appraiser’s Office. Of that $21.4 million, $4.3 million is from new and improved development. The full taxable value of the city is $534,147,532. The difference over last year is a 4.2% increase.

The rollback rate was 7.6690. The rollback rate is the millage that the council could have imposed that would have generated the same amount in revenues as this year.

Williams and the council said during their budget meeting they were pleased with the financial plan and tax rate.

“We told you we were going to try and develop a budget that got a lower millage rate,” Williams told the council. “It’s not the full rollback as we discussed, but it’s pretty close.”

Councilman Cabot McBride was absent from the meeting. The council voted 4-0 to approve the millage rate.

“It’s good to see everyone worked so hard to keep it in a range we didn’t have to raise the millage rate ...,” said Councilwoman Linda Bega.

Councilwoman Jacquie Hepfer agreed.

“God bless our staff for putting this together,” she said.

Contact Chronicle reporter Fred Hiers at fred.hiers@chronicleonline.com or 352-397-5914.