By Dawn Krebs
FORT PIERCE - After a short discussion on increasing taxes, the Fort Pierce City Council voted 4-1 to increase the millage rate to the rollback rate of 5.71 percent. Mayor Bob Benton voted no.
For a home valued at $100,000 homeowners will pay $57.10 in city taxes.
The taxable property value for homes in Fort Pierce dropped by 4.76 percent in 2012, according to the St. Lucie County property appraiser's office.
During a workshop, city commissioners were against raising taxes and instead discussed ways to increase revenue. During the second workshop, however, they were more open to raising the millage rate to 5.7131 percent.
The increase in the tax rate would balance the proposed budget of $32.3 million, an increase of approximately .4 percent from last year's $32.2 million budget.
According to a memo from Nick Mimms, interim city manager, increasing the rate will result in approximately $10 million in increased revenue for the city, but will still be $105,270 less than the revenue received last year.
Also written into the budget is a 2 percent salary increase for all city employees, as well as a health premium increase of 3.3 percent.