Sarasota News Leader

07/19/2013

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PROPOSED 8 PERCENT JUMP The City Commission listens to a Parking Advisory Committee presentation this spring. Photo by Norman Schimmel CITY TO TAP RESERVES, RAID INSURANCE FUNDS AND HIKE THE MILLAGE RATE TO BALANCE THE 2014 FISCAL YEAR BUDGET By Stan Zimmerman City Editor It is an exercise that takes the U.S. Congress months, and it often misses the deadline. For Sarasota City government, it is an exercise that takes days and the commissioners never miss their deadline. It is the creation of an annual budget. THE NUB Next month, city property owners will receive a Truth in Millage notice. The TRIM postcard will tell taxpayers how much each taxing body wants for the coming fiscal year. By law, it contains something called "the rollback rate," guaranteed to confuse many homeowners, because any tax rate higher than the "rollback" is often seen as a tax increase. Make no mistake: Both are exercises in acrimony, because the process of deciding who gets what is as old as Alexander's knot-cutting sword. Fundamentally, the job of any government is the redistribution of wealth. For Sarasota city property owners, the rollFor thousands of years, that wealth went back rate this year is 2.8480 mills, or $2.85 on from the peasants to the king. In today's every $1,000 of appraised value of the taxable Sarasota, Florida, the process is a little more property. But the tax rate decided by city comcomplicated. missioners on July 17 is a tad higher, at 3.1738

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