ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – St. Johns County Commissioners got their first look at the proposed 2023 budget last week.
It calls for more than $1.2 billion in spending to pay for public safety, new road projects and infrastructure in one of the fastest-growing counties in the state. For comparison, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry presented a $1.5 billion budget proposal to Jacksonville City Council earlier this month.
As people continue to flock to St. Johns County, home values have skyrocketed.
Since last year, Director of the Office of Management and Budget Jesse Dunn said the approximate taxable value for property in St. Johns County is up a whopping 17.8%. The increase in property value could translate to nearly $40 million in additional tax revenue next year, which would result in a total of $262.3 million from property taxes.
“I think it’s indicative of what the behaviors we’ve seen really in Northeast Florida, St. Johns County, Duval, surrounding counties, the popularity of Florida, and certainly at some level, the demand on buying a home or buying property in St. Johns County,” Dunn said.
The value increase is good news for many homeowners, but that also means property taxes will also likely go up next year. But that doesn’t mean homeowners will be paying nearly 18% more in taxes.
“We would anticipate for the average homeowner in the ran for the foot for the tax rate for the Board of County Commissioners about a three, three-and-a-half percent increase overall in their taxes over last year,” he said.
Dunn said tourism dollars are once again flowing into the county with a projected $22 million in tax revenue next year. That’s up from $9.2 million at the height of the pandemic in 2020.
A couple of notable capital improvement projects in the proposed $1.2 billion budget include:
- $110.8 million for a wastewater treatment plant near Hastings
- $35 million for road projects, including many in the fast-growing area along County Road 210
- $5 million for a Sheriff’s Office service facility
- $3 million to expand waterway access
Dunn also noted inflation has had an impact on this year’s budget.
“It is translating directly into our budget we are seeing we certainly have costs that are associated with fuel,” Dunn said.
On Aug. 2, the commissioners will set the ceiling for the proposed millage rates. That information will then be sent out to property owners in St. Johns County.
“Everyone kind of calls it their draft tax bill, if you will,” Dunn said. “And it gives you what the taxes would look like for next year at the ceiling millage rates.”
On Sept. 6 the commission will hold a public hearing to adopt the tentative budget and in the following weeks thereafter would be the adoption of the final budget and the final millage rates.
In November, St. Johns County voters will also say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to raising the county’s sales tax by one cent which would go towards $500 million in backlogged projects. If it’s not passed, Dunn said the county would likely have to borrow money for those projects and pay interest, which would increase the cost.