Tallahassee City Commission Focused on Reducing Taxes

The City of Tallahassee Board of Commissioners held a meeting on Wednesday, which discussed the Fiscal Year 2017 Budget and focused on cutting taxes by eliminating the city of Tallahassee’s business tax and lowering the millage rate while maintaining a balanced budget.

The Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce approved the idea of eliminating business taxes of $2 million that can help provide a more business friendly environment.

The Commissioners were able to approve a tentative budget and tentative millage rate that puts $3 million back into the hands of the citizens in the community.

Mayor Andrew Gillum believes the budget would benefit all citizens and businesses in the community.

“I think this budget shows that we listened, that we gave a little bit and at the same time had to stick with our guns in other places, but generally I think this is the budget that not only everyday citizens can claim success on but also our business community,” said Gillum.

In July, the commissioners approved tentative FY17 millage rate, reducing it from 4.2000 to 4.1000 mills, a million dollars or commercial and residential property taxpayers. Also, setting the tentative millage rate for the Downtown Improvement Authority (DIA) at 1.000 mills.

Approved unanimously, the city’s plan to achieve the following goals throughout the fiscal year are as follows: eight public meetings, municipal cost comparison, an open government launch, customer surveys, commitment to a balanced budget with no millage rate increases,  no additional employees, and maintenance for roadways and sidewalks.

FY17 operating budget also includes $500,000 proposed from the city’s deficiencies fund for contingency to support Hurricane Hermine recovery efforts.

Deputy City Manager, Reese Goad discussed speaking with the community about Hurricane Hermine progression and concerns.

“We are looking forward to the after action items, so we want to engage our community. We are going to have some community meetings where we go out to the public and hear what they have to say and what they’ve experienced,” Goad said.

“We’ve got a lot of different perspectives we want to take into account, and that’s first and foremost. So I will be out as early as next week meeting with the community,” Goad said.

Mayor Gillum stated, “The budget says we’re a committee that tends first to our critical need areas. We’re going to deal with public safety, parks and recreations, keeping up with public infrastructure as any community should. I also think it cares about the human need for our community.”

The FY 2017 Budget reflects the City’s ongoing commitment to mirror the values of the citizens who live in the community.

The next city commission meeting will be briefed on electric and natural gas rates, and include the final budget public hearing for FY17. This will take place on September 28, in the City Commission Chambers at City Hall.