Fiscal Year 2022/2023 Budget Summary :
From Town Manager Jeaneen Witt
Dear Ponce Inlet resident,
The final budget for the town for fiscal year 22/23 was approved by the Town Council on September 26th with a millage rate of 5.3 mills. This millage rate is 0.6 mills below the prior year rate and considered a tax decrease of 0.44% below the rolled back rate. The Town Council made the decision to prudently use of some of the Town’s healthy reserve fund to provide property owners with a tax break during this time of rising costs for everything else. The town’s stabilization reserve and other unassigned fund balance has reached $4,214,373, which equates to a 67% reserve / 8+ months. It is the highest reserve in terms of dollars in the town’s history; and is percentagewise less than one month below the reserve policy maximum.
The town’s budget has been created to meet or exceed our current level of service, even with the rising costs of many things for which we need to operate. Some highlights of this budget are: enables us to stay on-track in our multi-phase process for full implementation of the $15/hour minimum wage law while addressing compression issues; continue our work in the three-year fire service accreditation process; to replace 2 failing retaining walls at Tina Marie Drive; to purchase additional public safety equipment; to provide park improvements at most of the town’s parks, including replacement of failing rip rap revetment at Elber’s Sunset Park and shade structures at the pickleball courts; and to complete a watershed master plan for increased ISO rating and subsequent town wide flood insurance rate reductions.
The town has three outstanding loans which were taken out for projects which provide long-term benefits for the entire town; most of these have the benefit of very low interest loans, due to the project serving an important public purpose. The town is mindful of its debt service and the remaining terms of each: 1) town hall & police department facility loan with 3 yrs remaining, 2) stormwater improvements loan with 4 yrs remaining, and 3) water system improvements loan with 14 yrs remaining.
While the town continues to provide premium service to our residents and maintain a prudent reserve, you can see from the table below that Ponce Inlet’s tax rate continues enable us to fall within the lower half of those rates paid by property owners throughout Volusia County:
|County – Wilbur by the Sea (Unincorporated Northeast)
|Daytona Beach Shores
|New Smyrna Beach