Mexico Beach residents will have lower millage rates

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MEXICO BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — Mexico Beach residents can expect to see changes to their taxes.

City officials adjusted spending during the last budget meeting, to allow for more rebuilding.

“We’ve adopted a new budget for the fiscal year 2022,” said Mexico Beach City Administrator Douglas Baber. 

Baber is on his second week on the job. But already says he has seen the city making progress.

“There is so many things we are trying to give back to the residents on things they’ve lost,” said Baber.

The city’s new budget for fiscal year 22 is $6 million with a $3.5 million general fund. 83% of that general fund comes from ad valorem taxes.

“One of the couple of things that we did was lower our millage rate by a full mill,” said Baber. “So we went from eight mills down to seven mills so that is a relief to the burden on the taxpayers.”

Baber said the millage rate is higher in Mexico Beach because there is no fire assessment. After Hurricane Michael, the city had to pull from the ad valorem tax to rebuild. And now three years following the storm, the city has decided on lowering the rate.

“The way we were able to accomplish that was by the some of the debt services that we had, they were completely paid off by fiscal year 21,” said Baber. “Another thing that helps us with that is we didn’t take out any loans. We are one of the only cities, the only city to not take out any loans during the rebuilding process.”

Mexico Beach has partnered with FEMA to continue the rebuild. The next big projects include the pier, which was completely wiped out, and sunset park, which could go under contract at the end of this month.

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