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Maximum Property Tax Rate Decided

Final Budget Hearing September 20th at 6 PM

Lakeland, FL City Update (September 7, 2018) | With a 5-2 vote last night, the Lakeland City Commission approved a property tax rate not to exceed $5.5644 per $1,000 of taxable property value. The property tax rate has remained at $5.5644 since 2016.

The Commission also approved a $129 million general fund budget — part of a $612 million total budget that includes the utilities. The general fund includes City services that don’t charge directly for a service such as public safety, public works, parks & recreation and community development.  The primary driver for these services is personnel because it takes people to provide these amenities. 

There was much debate and discourse that took place at the first budget hearing that included a retiree supplement for those that retired from the City before 2004 as a way to assist those that are living in hardship.  There was also a great deal of discussion regarding a homeless initiative that includes funding for case workers and plans for housing first. Thisis an approach to quickly connect individuals and families experiencing homelessness to permanent housing without preconditions and barriers to entry, such as sobriety, treatment or service participation requirements.

During the Thursday, September 6th budget hearing, there was a lot of back and forth regarding these additions to the City Budget.  Discussion will continue before decisions are final. The next budget hearing will take place on September 20th at 6pm in the City Commission Chambers located on the 3rd floor of City Hall, 228 South Massachusetts Avenue.  Decisions made at this Budget Hearing will be final leading into the start of the new fiscal year that begins October 1st.