Deltona’s leaders have wrapped up their first round of 2019-20 budget deliberations, and both spending and taxes are poised to rise.
The city’s tentative property-tax rate remains at 7.85 mills, or $7.85 per thousand dollars of taxable value, but that figure translates into a tax increase of 9.4 percent.
Because the value of property in Deltona has increased, a lower millage rate is required to keep taxes the same. Deltona’s tentative rate is 9.4 percent above the rollback rate, which would bring in the same property-tax revenues as last year, not counting new construction or annexations.
An attempt to set Deltona’s tentative millage even higher failed. City Commissioner Chris Nabicht called for a tax rate of 8.085 mills.
“The infrastructure continues to deteriorate,” Nabicht said, as the commission worked on the new budget July 22.
No other commissioner wanted to discuss Nabicht’s motion, and it died quickly.
The proposed millage may yield almost $19.5 million and help fund an operating budget of nearly $43.9 million.
Under this fiscal scenario, Deltona’s average tax bill would go from about $441 to $484 per year.
“That’s the average tax bill,” Mayor Heidi Herzberg said.
Not everyone was pleased with the possible increase.
“I found 18 places that we could cut,” Deltona resident Brandy White told the City Commission.
“It blows my mind that none of these things never were even discussed,” she added.
Deltona resident Elbert Bryan was likewise critical.
“There’s a huge amount that you could have cut out of this budget,” he said. “People are wondering how they’re going to pay for their insulin.”
Deltona’s new budget calls for an increase of nearly $1 million for law enforcement. The city is ready to pay almost $12.33 million to Volusia County for the Sheriff’s Office to patrol and protect Deltona.
The number of deputies assigned to Deltona will rise from 76 to 80. The increased staffing includes three patrol deputies and a juvenile-crime investigator.
The Deltona City Commission approved the tentative budget and ad valorem tax rate with a 6-1 vote. Nabicht dissented.
The City Commission will discuss the budget in future workshops, before taking final action after two public hearings in September.
The times, dates and locations of the public hearings on Deltona’s 2019-20 budget and property-tax rate will appear on the preliminary tax notices that will be mailed in mid-August.