Administrator attributes the decrease to 'a reduction in carryover projects'

BRADENTON — The city of Bradenton budget for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1 will be about $18 million less than the spending plan it will soon replace, even though the property tax base climbed in value by about 8%.

City Administrator Carl Callahan told the City Council on Wednesday evening that the reason the $124.3 budget he presented is less than the $142 million for the current fiscal year is “a reduction in carryover projects,” such as the new downtown parking garage that will soon open to the public.

The next budget includes $49.1 million for the general fund, more than $22 million in water and sewer revenues, more than $8.4 million in garbage collection revenues and more than $8.5 million from a voter-approved, half-cent sales tax for infrastructure projects. More than $1.5 million will go to debt service.

At a Sept. 18 public hearing, the council will again consider the overall budget and a property tax rate.

The proposed rate is more than $5.89 for every $1,000 in taxable value, a rate the council has kept steady for several years. For a property with a taxable value of $100,000, for example, the city taxes would be $589.76.

Although property owners within the municipality will pay the same tax rate as in previous years, their city tax bill will increase depending on how much their property’s taxable value may have risen.

Much of the overall increase in the city’s tax base is new construction that was not previously on the tax rolls, Callahan noted.