Flat City Tax Rate, More Revenue Proposed

By Wes Wolfe

Florida Politics

Fernandina Beach’s proposed millage rate ran directly into opposition as the City Commission took it up for adoption, before it ultimately passed in a brief special session.

“No. 1, I believe this budget has a lot of things that could be trimmed,” Commissioner Bradley Bean said. “I’ve gone through it with my No. 2 pencil, and I’ve identified a million dollars in items that I believe — and we all might agree on — shouldn’t be in this budget.”

The second reason, he said, was the “manna from heaven” that are the dollars from the federal government through the American Rescue Plan Act.

“Over $3 million (available), which we established last meeting has no strings attached,” Bean said.

“That $3 million is something that worries me, because if we raise taxes this year and we treat this $3 million as simply part of the budget, we’re going to be in a world of hurt next year when we do not get that $3 million.”

Either reason alone would be a good reason to vote against the proposed rate, Bean said.

The rate proposed is flat compared to 2021-2022, though it results in more revenue, which the state calls a tax increase.

“I think we’re all open to hearing proposals (on the budget),” Mayor Mike Lednovich said.

“This is a tentative millage rate, until we start to debate the merits of what the city manager has brought before us. This vote is just tentative, it’s not the final millage rate, and the final items in the budget are yet to be determined.”

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Nora Bruce
Nora Bruce(@rebrucecomcast-net)
1 year ago

I agree with Bradley Bean. Go through the budget and cut out the fat.

martin brutscher
martin brutscher (@guest_65830)
1 year ago

What was the vote 3-2, 4-1? Who voted in favor? With the continuing growth that generates more revenue I agree with Bradley Bean there has to be unnecessary spending. Some councilman keep indicating there are these capital needs but do you see roads being paved, changes to the waterfront, improvements downtown. NO! So where is all the extra revenue being spent? More personnel? It would be great for the Observer to interview Bradley Bean so he can lay out where he suggests the budget be cut.

GERALD DECKER(@myfernandina)
1 year ago

Reducing our tax burden is the right thing to do this year.

Al MacDougall
Al MacDougall (@guest_65835)
1 year ago

Commissioner Bean is right–that $3M won’t come next year and, together with some budget adjustments, makes it possible to reduce taxpayer burden as we all deal with soaring prices–city leaders owe it to their constituents this post-pandemic year.