Santa Rosa County’s final public hearing on proposed $166M budget is Tuesday

Posted on September 28, 2020 by Staff reports

Santa Rosa County staff at 6 p.m, Tuesday, September 29 will present the fiscal year 21 budget to the board of county commissioners for approval in the final public hearing at the Administrative Complex, 6495 Caroline St. in Milton.

The total budget of $165,935,810 represents a 6.84 percent decrease from last fiscal year.

No increase in property taxes are included in the proposed budget, which is down from $178 million last fiscal year – due in part to the county spending or allocating $14 million from county reserves for projects including the courthouse construction and re-decking of Navarre Beach Fishing Pier.

The proposed budget also includes $1.5 million less for road & bridges.

Other factors influencing the upcoming year’s budget include a projected $4.6 million increase in property tax revenues generated by an increase in the county’s overall property values from $10.4 to 11.2 billion, including increased value from new construction.

If commissioners do not “roll back” the 6.0953 millage rate to offset that projected increase in revenue then by state statute the board will be required to advertise a related ad valorem tax increase.

Since 2014 the county revenues have grown from $109.8 million to a the proposed $166 million for fiscal year 2021.

Since 2015 salary expenditures for county commission departments have increased by $3 million, including the following percentage increases:

  • Parks 120%;
  • Tourist Development 99%;
  • Human Resources 79%;
  • County Commission Administration 62%;
  • Budget 56%;
  • Economic Development 51%.
  • Also, a code compliance line item was added in 2019 and went up 50% in 2020.

Some raises were approved by the board, but some departments outspent others considerably. Click here to see the breakdown of the salary increases by department: SALARIES

An interactive agenda with backup supporting documents is available online. The public hearing will be archived at that same link following the meeting as well as streamed live online.