PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – The Panama City budget meeting Thursday evening was no longer than 10 minutes.
Inflation continues to push up costs, but city commissioners say they’re doing their best to be as fiscally conservative as possible.
“In the city of Panama City, you should be seeing tax savings in your bill,” said Panama City Commissioner Josh Street. “I know there are a lot of other things that are going on in the community and we’re all trying to just make adjustments. There’s obviously a lot of inflation. We’re trying to make the best decisions that we can to not increase taxes and be fiscally conservative.”
The proposed budget for the 2023-24 fiscal year is $131 million. Commissioners were able to reduce the fire assessment tax by 15%. That means homeowners will see a $75 decrease.
They’re proposing to keep the current millage rate of 4.799 the same. Commissioner Street says they’re trying to save money without sacrificing city services.
“Our biggest goal with this budget was to make the cuts that we needed to make, but not let it affect our employees and the citizens and the level of service that they receive in the City of Panama City. That has been a difficult challenge. It’s been good to see our team step up, our department heads, our budget officers, and the commission to really put in the hard work that it takes to make a balanced budget.”
The city also has a host of projects they’d like to complete in the coming year. Some of these projects include renovations to the marinas, the Civic Center, and the Martin Theater. No decisions have been made on this matter yet, but commissioners hope to have the projects in motion within the next 2 years.
“Those things are big ticket items and they’re slow in coming, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Panama City Mayor Dr. Mike Rohan. “It’s still two years away, but at the same time, we’ve got the flashlight on and we’re starting to walk down the tunnel.”
The new budget will go into effect October 1.