Parker Proposes Property Tax Cut

Posted on March 14, 2024 by Romi White


Santa Rosa County property owners could see their first millage rate reduction in more than a decade after Commission Chairman Sam Parker during today’s budget planning workshop proposed a reduction.

“I’d like to have a priority of millage rate reduction,” Parker said. noting he still wants public safety, infrastrures and workforce retention and development to be top priorities. Parker said a “responsible and reasonable” ad valorem cut could be offset between new growth and the revenue stabilization fund.

Vice Chairman James Calkins also supported decreasing the millage rate, which has been 6.0953 for more than 10 years. As for budget priorities, Calkins said infrastructure and public safety are the top priority. 

District 5 Commissioner Colten Wright said he’s willing to entertain a property tax decrease as long as revenues are increasing to meet growth, suggesting it is important to move forward discussing a “reasonable” impact fee, stating he believes that goes “hand in hand” with a millage reduction.

Additionally, Wright said he supports putting a local option sales tax referendum on the ballot. “We need to allow citizens the citizens to prove whether or not roads and infrastructure are important to them, and I think that’s the best way to do it.”

Opposing property tax cuts were District 2 Commissioner Kerry Smith and District 4 Commissioner Ray Eddington.

Smith said in the past he was for a millage rate reduction but now feels that, after hearing from Sheriff Bob Johnson about public safety needs, that reduction would result in Santa Rosa Sheriff’s Office taking the “brunt of the hit” of a millage rate drop. He also expressed support for implementing an impact fee.

“I don’t want to lower the mill (rate) at all,” said District 4 Commissioner Ray Eddington. “We need to leave it like it is.”