The St. Johns County Commission established the proposed tax rates for FY 2023 at its regular meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 2. The rates remain unchanged from those adopted last year.
The general fund is the largest of the county’s operating funds and accounts for all financial resources except for those restricted to specific uses. The primary source of revenue for the general fund is property taxes.
The general fund tax rate, at $4.65 per $1,000 of assessed property value, represents an 11% increase over the rolled-back rate of $4.12. The rolled-back rate is what would generate the same amount of tax revenue as last year after being adjusted for changes in property values.
Other countywide levies — per $1,000 of assessed property value — are: $0.84 for the transportation trust fund, $0.02 for the Health Department fund and $1.38 for the fire district fund.
While these rates can be reduced by the commission at either of two forthcoming budget meetings, they cannot be raised.
One of the reasons the county has been able to avoid an increase in taxes is rising properties values. St. Johns County has seen a 17.8% increase in taxable value since last year. That will mean a $39,964,900 increase in tax revenue in 2023 — $26,863,823 of that for the general fund.
Had the county decided to go with the rolled-back rate, it would have meant $6,381,541 less for the general fund and $9,509,157 less for the four countywide funds combined.
The budget stands at $1,265,598,198, but that will change. When the issue comes before the board again in September, the inclusion of multi-year grants and capital carryforwards will raise that number.
Also, Tuesday, the commission approved the first public hearing for adoption of the budget. That will be held at 5:01 p.m. Sept. 6 in the county auditorium.
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