By Steve Plunkett

City residents will see fractional decreases in property tax rates but will pay slightly higher tax bills if tentative rates win final approval.

City Manager Leif Ahnell advised City Council members to set the tentative property tax rate for both the operating budget and debt service at $3.6787 per $1,000 of taxable value, down from the current $3.6788 per $1,000.

“Taking direction from our goal-setting session in the spring, we are not recommending this year an increase in the tax rate for next year,” Ahnell said at the council’s July 24 meeting.

But the rate, if approved, will be advertised as a 4.83 percent increase in taxes — the operating millage is going from a rollback rate of $3.3093 to $3.4690. That increase is offset by a drop in debt service from 22.45 cents per $1,000 to 20.97 cents.

Homeowners will also pay $10 more for fire protection if Ahnell’s recommendation to raise the fire fee to $135 from $125 is approved. The first public hearing on the tax rate will be 6 p.m. Sept. 13 at City Hall.

Boca Raton’s tax base rose 6.32 percent this year, to $23.9 billion. Meanwhile, the Greater Boca Raton Beach & Park District is contemplating keeping its tax rate steady at 91.47 cents per $1,000 of taxable value. The district’s first public hearing on its budget will be 6 p.m. Sept. 6 at Sugar Sand Park.

In other City Council business, Ahnell said there was no room on the November ballot for a proposal to change residency requirements for council and mayoral candidates.

“We’ll bring it back to you in the fall for your consideration,” Ahnell said. 

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