MEXICO BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — Mexico Beach residents will see lower taxes this year as city officials are hoping to provide some relief to taxpayers.

Mexico Beach city leaders have been focused on rebuilding since Hurricane Michael, but they’ve also worked to lower the tax burden on residents.

Last year they decreased the millage rate from 8 mils to 7 mils.

“The council has made it an objective to continue to lower the millage rate over the years to give back to the residents that have suffered the burden throughout the rebuild, as we had to raise it to 8 mils several years ago,” City Administrator Douglas Baber said.

During Tuesday’s budget workshop city officials announced that the millage rate will drop from 7 to 6.5.

“It is allowing the folks that have paid for everything that have gotten to this point to relieve a little bit of burden on them for their tax base,” Baber said. “We live on what they provide for their tax benefit and that helps us provide better services as we grow.”

The city’s budget for the fiscal year 2022-23 is over $7 million.

85 percent of that money comes from ad valorem taxes.

“The dedication from the staff has allowed us to do more with less to get to this point,” Baber said. “We have been in that survival mode for so long now we are trying to move into that thriving mode where we are able to utilize tax dollars that are coming in from our ad valorem tax.”

The fire department also managed to lower their ISO rating from a 6 to 4.

Which will mean a significant decrease in property insurance for homeowners.

“It’s a fairly major step forward for the Mexico Beach Fire Department to go from a 6 to a 4. We are where we should be where we need to be and it’s an important step going forward as the city grows we need to grow with it and we are doing that,” Mexico Beach Fire Chief Sandy Walker said.

The new millage rate will begin with the new budget on October 1.

Residents should start saving on the new fire rating on November 1.