City Council advances Curry’s proposed property tax rate cut

The city budget could include a 1/8 mill reduction, the first since 2007.

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Jacksonville City Council tentatively signed off on the first property tax rate cut in 15 years as it prepares for August hearings on Mayor Lenny Curry’s $1.55 billion budget for fiscal year 2022-23.

The Council voted 19-0 to advance a 1/8-mill drop in the city’s property tax rate from $11.4419 to $11.3169 per every $1,000 of taxable property value.

That means a Jacksonville homeowner with a $200,000 home and a $50,000 state of Florida homestead exemption would pay about $1,697.53. 

Because of rising property values, Jacksonville property owners are unlikely to see a drop in their tax bills. A millage rate increase for Duval County Public Schools also is on the Aug. 23 primary ballot.

Ordinance 2022-0500 also set the millage ceiling for Baldwin at 9.526 mills, or $9.526 per $1,000 of assessed taxable value. It set the Beaches provisional millage rate at 8.0262 mills or $8.0262 per $1,000 of assessed taxable.

The Council could lower the millage rate when it debates Curry’s final budget as mayor, but Florida statute keeps Council from raising the rate after the provisional vote July 26.

City Chief Administrative Officer Brian Hughes told Council members that reducing property tax rates would bring in $10 million to $11 million less in ad valorem property taxes than expected in fiscal year 2022-23. 

But he touted $347 million in reserve funding bolstered by $73 million in one-time federal pandemic relief money the budget sets aside for the next mayor and Council as a cushion allowing the tax cut.

Curry’s budget proposal also has a $500 million Capital Improvement Plan to pay for 161 infrastructure and facilities projects throughout Duval County. 

Council Finance Committee Chair Aaron Bowman said July 26 that Curry’s budget will start the hearings with a $3 million surplus.

The Finance Committee has seven budget hearings from Aug. 11-26. 

The Council is scheduled to hold public hearings on Curry’s budget and the millage rate proposal Sept. 13.

The budget takes effect Oct. 1.