MEXICO BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — Mexico Beach City council members passed the city’s budget for the next fiscal year.
The big question in everyone’s mind was where they would set the property tax millage rate.
During a previous meeting council members said they’d have to raise that rate.
Mexico Beach’s millage rate for the last year has been 6.5 mills.
At the beginning of the budget process, council members proposed a decrease to 5.8 mills.
But then at the beginning of September, Mayor Michelle Miller filed a lawsuit against the city accusing council members of trying to undercut her authority.
She is also trying to remove the newly hired City Administrator Chris Hubbard.
During the September 7 meeting, council members said they’d have set a higher millage rate to pay for the legal fees created by Miller’s lawsuit.
“I’ll make a motion to move it to 5.99 mill to put it towards the legal fees,” City Council Member Richard Wolff said.
Miller argued the increase was unnecessary because the city’s insurance would pay the attorney’s fees.
But Thursday night, council members moved forward with the rate of 5.99 mills
The increase will generate $147,000 in additional tax revenue.
Mayor Miller is moving forward with the lawsuit but still argues it won’t cost citizens anything.
“There is no cost to the citizens,” Miller said.
Miller said as the budget currently stands she expects they will have money left over at the end of the year. Which will be put in the city’s reserve fund for future projects.