Proposed property tax cut doesn’t mean Jacksonville homeowners would pay less than last year

Before Mayor Curry presents his spending plan, City Council President Terrance Freeman lays out his budget goals

News4JAX is learning more about Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry’s plan to spend your tax dollars.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – News4JAX is learning more about Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry’s plan to spend your tax dollars.

The city will get almost $100 million more this year, and the mayor will lay out his plan on how to spend it Thursday morning.

Despite a planned tax cut, you will more than likely be spending more on your property taxes because the value of your property has gone up.

On Tuesday, News4JAX reported on how Curry wants to cut your taxes by lowering the millage rate. So let’s say your home is worth $200,000 — that means, under the mayor’s rollback plan, you would save a little more than $18. But remember, your tax bill is still going to be higher because the value of homes all across our area has gone up by much more than $18.

So the mayor’s plan will save you some money, but you are still going to be paying more, and we’re looking at where it could go.

News4JAX caught up with Westside resident Myherley Gamble on Wednesday and asked her what she thinks the city should focus on with this budget.

“I would like to see more sidewalks. In my neighborhood, we don’t have any sidewalks at all,” Gamble said. “And the drainage over there is not that well either.”

Both of those issues will be addressed in this upcoming budget, which could total nearly $1.5 billion.

Two weeks ago, News4JAX talked with Curry one-on-one about what we can expect to see in this budget. At that time, he hinted about a tax break but said the city will get additional money because of increased property values. It looks like some of that money will be spent on projects that Gamble and others will benefit from.

“So about a half-billion (dollars) — parks, sidewalks, roads, septic tanks — every corner of the city, we are investing in much-needed infrastructure,” Curry said July 7.

Some of the projects include more than $11 million in stormwater drainage improvements. Also planned is work along the riverfront with bulkhead replacement and improvements.

The mayor will focus attention on some of the riverfront parks: the old Jacksonville Landing site, now Riverfront Plaza, Metropolitan Park and even improvements at 121 Financial Ballpark.

The mayor put together the spending plan, but it’s actually up to the Jacksonville City Council to decide where the money will be spent. On Wednesday, News4JAX talked with new City Council President Terrance Freeman about that.

“No. 1 is making sure that JSO and our police, they have what they need to keep our citizens safe,” Freeman said. “No. 2 is to continue to keep that focus on Jacksonville is a destination now the secret’s out and businesses are coming. And so it’s our job to make sure that we have a workforce and the capacity in the workforce that’s able to fill those jobs, and then affordable housing.”

As for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Pat Ivey requested an additional $37 million. He’s not looking to hire more officers on the street — JSO will get that with a federal grant. But what he needs money for is the jail because the costs have gone way up.

About the Author:

Jim Piggott is the reporter to count on when it comes to city government and how it will affect the community.