Town property taxes would stay the same next year under the proposed town property tax rate unanimously approved Tuesday by the town council.
“We are trying to keep a tight rein on costs. The economy is getting better but many people are still struggling,” said Vice Mayor Wendy Harrison.
A home with an assessed value of $250,000 and a homestead exemption of $50,000 would pay about $502. That does not include school, fire-rescue and county taxes and special taxing districts such as the Jupiter Inlet District.
The council can lower the tax rate but not raise it before the final budget is adopted. Public budget hearings are scheduled for Sept. 3 and Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. at town hall.
The tentative budget under consideration is $77.9 million. That’s down from this year’s budget of $79.6 million.
The number of city employees, including the 110 members of the police department, has been steadily dropping and is now 344, the same number of people who worked for the town in 2001. The high was 420 employees in 2007.
Departments that would see a budget increase include:
- Police from $18.3 million to $18.4 million. The increase is due to repair of vehicles, new Tasers, increasing fuel costs, radio maintenance and overtime.
- Information system from $2 million to $2.2 million because of increased technical services.
- Public works and parks maintenance from $4.2 million to $4.3 million, due to increased sidewalk and traffic control devices, and turf and equipment maintenance.
- Code compliance from $545,000 to $617,000, partly because of the addition of a code compliance officer.
- Business development from $456,000 to $520,000.
Departments that would see a decreased budget include:
- General government from $6.8 million to $6.4 million, because of lower unemployment compensation, capital repairs and maintenance and saving on operating supplies.
- Human resources, community relations, neighborhood services and the finance department all would see slight decreases.
The town attorney’s budget would stay the same at $350,000.
To view the proposed budget, go to jupiter.fl.us