By Samantha Joseph
MARTIN COUNTY - Updated numbers about the taxable value of area real estate led Taryn Kryzda, county administrator, to suggest a lower tax rate even though she's still proposing an increase.
Ms. Kryzda is suggesting a 1 percent increase in property tax next year, down from the 2 percent jump she initially proposed.
Her suggestion would generate money to make up for tax revenue the county was expected to lose as real estate values dropped.
Her initial recommendation was part of the proposed 2013 budget set at $337.4 million, and set for workshops beginning July 23 and public hearings in September for a budget year that begins Oct. 1.
But when Laurel Kelly, Martin County property appraiser, reported stronger-than-expected real estate performance, Ms. Kryzda re-examined her proposed tax increase.
Ms. Kelly reported a 1 percent falloff in the taxable value of area real estate, leading the county administrator to recommend a corresponding rate.
"The tax base didn't go down as much as anticipated," Ms. Kryzda said.
But the slump still means the county will need to collect slightly less than $131 million to maintain the same revenue levels it did last year.
The proposal would push the millage rate to $8.8260 per $100,000 of assessed property value, up from $8.7302 last year.
What this means is a resident with a house in the median range, valued at $164,210 and with $50,000 homestead exemption, would see a $10.94 spike in his tax bill after the 1 percent increase.