The Key West City Commission tentatively approved a budget for fiscal 2022/23 that would allow for the addition of four police officers and nine firefighters to serve the community.
Following two budget workshops, the Commission approved a tentative ad valorem tax rate of 2.1295, which equates to $2.13 per $1000 of assessed property value.
The tentative rate is 12.5 percent over rollback but still comes in a bit lower than last year's tax rate due to the increased assessed property value on the island. Rollback is the term used to describe the amount of ad valorem taxes needed to raise the same amount of money as last fiscal year.
"Staff has worked hard to craft a budget that serves the community's needs while considering the rising costs of personnel, goods, and services," said City Manager Patti McLauchlin. "Finding a balance is important, and between now and the first public hearing on September 8, staff will continue to work to find ways to reduce expenditures and enhance revenue to lower the tentative tax rate further."
The tentative tax rate will be sent to property owners in the annual Truth in Millage notice. After the notice, the Commission will hold two public hearings in September to finalize the budget. Now that the tentative rate is set, it cannot be raised, but it can be lowered.
Overall, the total assessed property value in Key West is $8,990,616,159, which is 9.24 percent higher than last year.