Wewa plans to keep millage unchanged

The millage rate for property taxes in Wewahitchka will be
no higher than it has been for the past several years, and could come in lower,
depending on what city commissioners do in the next several weeks.

Brittney Proctor, the city’s finance director, said the tentative
millage has been set at 6.1133, so that remains the ceiling, as per state law. The rollback rate,
which is the amount needed to retain this year’s ad valorem revenue at the same
$339,000 level, is 5.8976 mills, which is 0.2157 mills below that of the tentative
millage rate.

Because Wewa saw growth in its tax base, keeping the millage
unchanged will yield next year about $361,616 in property tax revenue, which as
per state law, is 95 percent of what could potentially come in.

Property Appraiser Mitch Burke said Wewahitchka saw a 6.74
percent growth in its tax base, to about $62.3 million. This is 14.66 percent
greater than two years ago.

Proctor said the city is working to schedule a budget
workshop, after the recent one had to be postponed. “We have had several people that are
essential to the discussion that are out with COVID,” she said.

Ad valorem tax revenues make up only about one-third of the
city’s general fund revenue of about $1.05 million. The other large chunks, in
the current year’s budget, are about $308,000 from state shared revenue, and about
$228,000 in utility taxes. Once carry-over monies and unappropriated reserves
are factored, the current budget had total revenues of about $2.74 million.

Water and sewer receipts make up about $1.6 million
(including about $520,000 in unappropriated but restricted sewer revenues). Garbage
fees amount to another $212,000 and grants about $843,000, for a total budget
of about $5.4 million.

In terms of expenditures, the largest line item this year is
for administration, of about $527,000, with streets and roads costing about
$460,000. Fires and recreation, the fire department, police and law
enforcement, and health and welfare consume the remainder of the revenues. 

Proctor said that following a 10 percent rate increase for water and sewer in December, the increased revenues should be realized in the 2020-21
financials and that audit will be ready around June 2022. 

“We likely
will have some type of an increase on both water and sewer for the 2021-22
year, however, it has not been decided yet what the rates will increase
to,” she said. “We did have the Florida Rural Water Association come out and do an analysis, they
gave us some goals to work towards and these goals do impact future
grants. “

Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.