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Deltona's Acting City Manager John Peters III.

The largest city in Volusia County has the highest property-tax rate of any city in the county, and city leaders will likely retain that distinction.
Deltona is eyeing a new general-fund budget of almost $55.8 million, and property taxes account for almost half of that sum. That new spending blueprint calls for the hiring of more code-enforcement officers and parks and recreation workers, as well as a new $710,000 firetruck and a $370,000 ambulance for the Fire Department.
Deltona is renewing its contract with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office for law-enforcement services. The city will pay $12.56 million for patrols, investigations and responses to emergencies.
Deltona’s ad valorem tax rate has been 7.85 mills, or $7.85 per $1,000 of taxable property value, for the past three years. Barring a change of mind and heart on the part of the City Commission in the coming weeks, it will remain at that level for at least another year. Although the rate may be unchanged, it will result in a 9.3-percent tax increase. This is largely because Deltona’s property values have risen sharply, due to the sizzling real estate market with a low inventory of both new and pre-owned homes. New settlers are coming to Florida in droves, and Deltona is a key destination.
In response to calls to lower the tax rate to the rolled-back figure, 7.1812 mills, Acting City Manager John Peters III cautioned against cutting the levy.
“We are looking at the potential of a recession,” Peters told the City Commission. “Every study you read, we’re seeing property values going very high. Construction is very high. The situation is much like we saw in 2000. We see a bubble, again, a real estate bubble. … We need to see what the real estate market will be.”
Peters said a lowering of the tax rate may come next year, if favorable economic conditions prevail.
Deltona’s ad valorem taxes, according to the official projections, will generate some $25.6 million in the 2021-22 fiscal year, and that is up markedly from the nearly $22 million for the fiscal year now winding down.
The proposed new budget also relies on almost $25.5 million in special charges, known as non-ad valorem assessments, for solid-waste collection and disposal and stormwater control. Some Deltonans live in neighborhoods with streetlighting districts, and owners of homes and lots fronting on Lake McGarity pay a special assessment for aquatic-weed control. These annual charges appear on the property-tax bills and must be paid in conjunction with the ad valorem levies.

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