Gulf Breeze to raise utilities tax

The tax rate paid by City of Gulf Breeze residents on municipal utility services for water, gas and electricity will rise by 2.5 percent to a new level of 7.5 percent under a proposal supported by the city council on Wednesday night.

The new rate is coming at a time when the city’s budget is squeezed and less than two weeks following the enactment of a controversial surcharge on the municipality’s South Santa Rosa Utility service to non-city residents in the Tiger Point area.

Planned to start April 1, the new rate would add in the range of $5.32 to $13.86 to monthly electric bills and from 77 cents to $2.28 monthly to typical natural gas fees, according to a city hall memo. Typical residential water bills would rise by $8.64.

The increased rates would add generate about $212,000 a year for the city’s general fund, much of it intended for street maintenance and stormwater improvements. Council members pointed out that the fee won’t apply to non-city residents who are customers of SSRU.

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