County admin proposes property tax hike

Santa Rosa County commissioners Tuesday will host workshops leading up to approval of the county’s 2015-16 budget, which is projected to increase to  $110 million, leaving a $2.8 million deficit.

County Administrator Hunter Walker is proposing that the board of county commissioners raise property taxes from a millage rate of 6.0953 to 6.4911 to “offset” the $5.7 million increase over the current fiscal year’s budget.

“I believe it better to adjust the millage now to correct this imbalance than to work around it again, defer and increase any negative consequences in future budgets,” Walker told commissioners in a July 15 memo.

Missing from the budget are employee step or merit raises, which the board has funded for $1.3 million during the past two fiscal years. Included are the costs to temporarily house some Escambia County Jail inmates and $1 million cover the rising county share of state Medicaid costs.

Read the full story in the July 23 edition of Navarre Press or subscribe online here.

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