By Jill Fox
Parkland property owners can rest easy knowing that their millage rate will decrease for 2021.
At Wednesday night’s meeting, the commission voted against the city staff’s recommended millage rate of 4.4000, which would have cost homeowners 2.38% more in taxes.
Parkland’s millage rate is already one of the lowest in Broward County. Margate is 7.7, Tamarac is 7.3, Coconut Creek is 6.5, and Coral Springs is 6.1.
In an effort to move to the roll-back rate of 4.2979, Mayor Christine Hunschofsky asked the commission for the fifth time since June to “consider the times we’re in, and show the residents some relief, albeit minor, and go to the rollback rate so that no resident is paying a dollar more than they did last year.”
The city’s proposed rate of 4.400 mills would have increased Parkland’s yearly revenue by just under $1.5 million with the average homeowner paying an additional $7 a month in taxes — or $84 a year.
Commissioner Ken Cutler argued that the cumulative loss in city revenue would be at least $2.8 million over five years.
“I understand the scenario we’re in relative to COVID and the break that we might be giving to residents, but from the collective ability to service our community in the fashion that we have always been accustomed to, I think it is imperative that we understand that by rolling back, we are going against the advice of our experts.” he said.
Hunschofsky responded that it’s not just about the dollar amount, it’s about listening to the struggles community members are going through.
“We need to tighten our belts so we can do things in a smaller, more cost-efficient way, and it would be a good idea for the city to do the same,” she said.
After further discussion, Commissioner Stacy Kagan made a motion to adopt the rollback rate of 4.2979 mills, and Commissioner Rich Walker seconded the motion.
In a four to one vote (Cutler opposing), the commission voted to reduce the millage rate for 2021, which will go into effect on October 1.
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- Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She has worked in public relations and television for over 20 years. Fox lives in Parkland with her husband and their two children.