WALTON COUNTY Fla. (WMBB)– The Fiscal year 2021 budget will look slightly different for Walton County.
COVID-19 has affected how much revenue the county is seeing from sales and TDC tax and fundamentally changing how they plan next year’s finances.
“COVID has really impacted everything that we are doing, and it also the lag in seeing what the sales tax revenues are going to be and what the activity is going to be for the rest of the year, has been a challenge,” said Melissa Thomason the Finance Director for Walton County.
Thomason said they are seeing an increase in tourist traffic, but they are not sure if that will continue.
“We are really just making our best projections based on what we are seeing and what the current traffic is going on in the south and our current occupancy rates to try to make the best predictions right now for what the next year will look like,” said Thomason.
Revenue from sales tax and the TDC taxes took a significant hit when things were shut down among the pandemic, which is why the finance department is planning for the possibility of less TDC tax revenue.
“So we think that is going to be a little bit lower than what we are really going to see and we will revise that as we need to over the next few months,” said Thomason.
Thomason said she had seen property tax growth through the shutdown. Millage rates will not increase from the current 3.636.
“While they didn’t take an official vote, there was a consensus of the board to not raise the millage,” Louis Svehla the Walton County Public Information Manager said. “Which means from this point going forward the millage can go down but it will not go back up.”
Walton County Commissioners will vote on the final budget in September.