City Budget tops $100 million

Zephyrhills City Manager Billy Poe unveiled the largest city budget in city history Monday chock full of state and federal funded projects and reduction in property taxes.

The $100,621,184 million city budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year, the largest ever, toppes the nine digit mark thanks to $26,742,448 in projects funded from state appropriations, American Rescue Plan Act, federal grants, SWFWMD, Florida DEP and FDOT.

The millage rate drops from 6.35 mills to 6.25 which will still generate $880,724 in tax revenue for the city which is 7.27 percent increase in revenue over last year. If the millage rate remained at 6.35, the city would bring in $986,188. If the revenue was to remain the same as last year, the rollback rate would be at tax cut down to 5.8263 mills.

A massive increase in home building is the direct result for the increase in city tax revenue which gives the city the ability to cut taxes. The city will bring in $6,591,549 in ad valorem revenue.

“We’ll see a lot of municipalities lowering this year,” said Councilman Lance Smith.

Council President Jodi Wilkeson said, “It will not be popular to go back up.”

Poe told members of city council once the millage rate is set before the budget is final, it can only go do down and not up.

“I think the townspeople need a break,” said Councilman Alan Knight. “America is really taking a beating. This is good way to tell people we’re trying.

Poe added, “It sends a message that if we can, we will.”

The state appropriations total $19 million with $7 million going toward the next phase of construction for the Sarah Vande Berg Tennis Center. The South Avenue Road extension for the National Guard Armory has $1.9 million dedicated to it.

Additionally, $4.4 million from Penny for Pasco and the ARPA will fund the improvements at Hercules Park.

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