The council voted 15-0 to establish a 1.5 mill increase, which would mean an additional $150 a year for the owner of a homestead house valued at $150,000. The annual tax bill would be $1,154.
The council Finance Committee spent about 70 hours going through the budget, about $51 million in programs and services that had been cut by Mayor Alvin Brown.
The higher millage rate will give council about $14 million more in potential funding.
But, with a wish list from council members that nears $18 million, the only way those items could be funded is if money that has already been approved for a project is taken away.
The list of 21 floor amendments includes many programs and services that the Finance Committee chose not to fund, such as: a $5.1 million extension for Parramore Road, $202,000 for restoring two senior centers, $399,000 in funding for Local Initiatives Support Corp., $85,000 for the Bob Hayes Track meet, a $5 million boost to UF Health Jacksonville, $25,000 for Jacksonville Beach 4th of July Fireworks and $1.2 million for Jacksonville Journey programs.
Council member Warren Jones has three amendments totaling more than $569,000.
They pertain to keeping the Louis Dinah and Hammond senior citizens centers open, restoring hours and funding to the Edith Brown Community Center and keeping $280,000 in the budget for lunch meals for senior citizens five days a week.
He told his colleagues the programs and services he and others sought to keep was the reason why many voted for a millage increase.
"Those are needs," he said after the meeting. "Sometimes you've got to look at the impact and past the numbers."
Tuesday also served as the first opportunity for the public to weigh in on the budget.
More than a dozen supporters of the Louis Dinah Senior Center showed to support the service, with Joseph Roberts addressing the council on why the center is needed.
Roberts said the center serves as a multipurpose neighborhood venue for the community, while supporter Bill Walton called it a "place for us to come and relax."
Others, like Aging True CEO Teresa Barton showed to make a plea to keep funding for services like Meals On Wheels.
She's asking for $200,000 in funding restorations that, when coupled with sequestration cuts, would mean "essentially the Meals On Wheels program would be dead in the water," she told council.
"It's unconscionable for them to balance the budget on the backs of seniors," Barton said afterward.
Not all were in favor of adding funds into the budget.
Joseph Strasser, a philanthropist and frequent public commenter, called the budget "unacceptable."
"Yours is unacceptable because it increases taxes on the people … and people are hurting," he told council.
The council did not restore funding for any of the programs discussed Tuesday night. Changes in the budget could be made during the final review on Sept. 24 before the vote is taken that night. The budget for fiscal 2013-14 begins Oct. 1.
City Council gave itself budgetary wiggle room Tuesday, approving a millage rate that could restore about $65 million to the mayor's proposed budget.