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Jacksonville City Council votes to tentatively increase millage rate

9:01 PM, Jul 23, 2013   |    comments
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UPDATE 7/23/13, 8:49 p.m.: The City will have to go back to court over the pension reform deal Mayor Alvin Brown struck with unions. The City Council voted it down.

UPDATE 7/23/13, 7:54 p.m.: The Jacksonville City Council voted to tentatively increase millage rate by 1.5 from 10.0353 to 11.5353.
This is an update. An earlier version of FCN's story is below.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Mayor Alvin Brown is standing his ground, saying a tax increase is not a solution for the city's budget. The City Council is not convinced and Tuesday night could give an indication whether a property tax increase is on the horizon.

The council is charged by law to set a millage rate. The rate is not binding, but the council at a later date cannot increase the millage rate.

Mayor Brown is proposing the rate be set at 10.03 mills. Each mill represents $10 for each $1,000 in assessed value.

The council has the ability to set a higher millage rate, but is not bound by that number.

"I see Jacksonville going downhill," said George Pearce, who lives in Arlington. The retired Coast Guard veteran supports a tax increase to avoid cuts in services like to libraries.

Larry Jackson holds a different view.

"I think everybody can manage money better ... so just cut out all the waste," said Jackson, who is also retired military.

Mayor Brown has proposed a $953 million budget. The budget does have a $60 million shortfall.

Brown said pension reform, if approved, could cushion the blow.

The city must adopt a spending plan before October 1.

Want to weigh in on the Mayor's proposed budget? Here's who to contact:

Mayor Alvin Brown

Bill Gulliford, City Council President

Clay Yarborough, City Council Vice President

Greg Anderson, City Council Finance Committee Chair

First Coast News

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