Despite a tax digest that’s shrunk quite a bit in recent years, the Richmond Hill City Council adopted the same 4.209 millage rate it’s had for the last several years during the board’s regular meeting Tuesday.
“We really had to struggle to keep the same millage rate,” Mayor Harold Fowler said while praising city workers for managing despite fewer resources. “Our department heads will tell you it’s been tough to continue to furnish services to our citizens with less revenue, but they’ve worked to make that happen.”
A look at the 2013 gross digest shows how the recession and fall in real estate values has hurt. The 2013 digest is $513.5 million, down more than $30 million from a 2008 gross digest of $544.8 million.
As a result, the city’s net revenue from property taxes is down from $2.25 million in 2008 to $2.1 million in 2013.
“It’s one thing to keep the millage rate the same or drop it when you’ve got a lot of growth and everything is going great,” Fowler said. “It’s another to do it when you go through what we’ve gone through with the economy the last few years.”
The city’s budget is still in the early stages, however. A millage rate public hearing is set for 7 p.m. Sept. 3 at City Hall, which sets in motion a number of workshops and a hearing before the budget is approved Dec. 3.
Read more in the Aug. 24 edition of the News.