Local News

Sebring approves city budget

SEBRING - The Sebring City Council gave final approval earlier this week to the city's budget and the tax rate. The council voted 4-1 on both the budget and the tax rate, with Councilman Scott Stanley favoring lowering the property tax rate to 4.950 mils. Stanley said he believes the city has enough money to support lowering taxes. But, the council voted to keep the tax rate the same at 4.990 mils for every $1,000 of assessed valuation, meaning property tax revenue will drop from $2.8 million to $2.6 million.
The tax rate, while remaining the same, is 3.3 percent below the rollback rate that would have generated the same amount of tax revenue. Because the tax rate is remaining the same, some residents or business owners could see a tax decrease if their property values dropped. Indicating there has been growth in the city during the past 14 years, the city's tax rate is below the 8.3 rate in 1991, but brings in $2.6 million, compared with $1.5 million in 1991. The budge also includes a 2.3 percent raise for employees. Council members said they believe the city departments should award raises based on merit, but they didn't absolutely require that. The city's budget, which includes other revenues, allocates $9.5 million to the general fund, $310,000 to Harder Hall, $1.1 million for infrastructure, $11.6 million for utilities, $2.2 million for solid waste and $832, 000 for the Sebring Municipal Golf Course. jmeisel@highlandstoday.com (863) 386-5834