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Under the proposed budget, the additional $1.3 million generated by the millage rate hike would be spent to resume equipment replacement programs needed across the city's departments.

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"Most of these people Converse Red And White are young homeowners trying to raise families and make a living and retired people on fixed incomes," he said. "I believe taxation, which will never be absolutely equitable, should be spread amongst those using the services."

The proposed increase would generate an additional $1.3 million $1.1 million for the city's general fund and $209,000 for the Community Redevelopment Agency fund.

For the Fire Department, the proposed budget allows the replacement of bunker gear, protective and safety equipment, thermal imaging cameras and medical equipment, Beedie said.

"I would like to explore the possibility of converting full time employees to a part time status in support roles," he said. "This would save paying into pensions, health insurance and leave time. The employee gets paid for hours worked, period."

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FWB proposes tax hike DOCUMENT

"I campaigned on the promise of no tax increases," he said. "Absent some unforeseen exigent circumstance, I intend to keep that promise."

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With the additional money, the Police Department also would receive $45,000 for an administrative assistant to the chief, a position that was cut last year.

In June, a divided City Council approved a property tax increase of up to 6 mills.

The proposed increase would generate an additional $1.3 million $1.1 million for the city's Converse Chuck Taylor Australia Sale

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a month. Within the city limits, 80 percent of residential properties and 34 percent of commercial properties have taxable values less than $100,000, according to city budget data.

The spending plan, which totals just under $35 million, is based on increasing the tax rate from 4.53 mills to 5.79 mills.

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Griggs said an alternative to raising the millage rate could be reducing personnel expenses.

general fund and $209,000 for the Community Redevelopment Agency fund.

The spending plan, which totals just under $35 million, is based on increasing the tax rate from 4.53 mills to 5.79 mills.

Griggs warned that raising taxes can have a reverse effect by "choking businesses and new home starts and drive people elsewhere."

The new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

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For a property owner with $100,000 of taxable value, the proposed millage rate increase would mean paying an additional $125.71 a year, or $10.48 Converse All Star High Tops Black And Red

give residents the services they expect.

"We're a city because we're a service provider, and I want us to be a best value service provider," he said. "Not the highest priced, not the lowest priced but the best value for the citizens. I think the budget we've got right now gets us closer to that than we are currently."

Other expenditures covered by the tax increase include $41,000 for computer replacements, $36,000 for facility repairs and maintenance, $61,000 to cover debt payments on a new fire pumper truck and $216,000 for vehicle replacements.

Fort Walton Beach also should consider closing non essential services such as City Hall on Fridays, Griggs added.

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Rynearson said he is happy with the budget as it is, but anticipates the council will debate certain items.

Among those allocations is $300,000 to offset declining Gulf Power franchise fee revenues and $205,000 for employee raises up to 3.75 percent, depending on tenure.

"Over the past four to five years, the city has had to Band aid vehicles and facilities in order to keep them operational," Beedie said. "For example, a majority of the police fleet has over 100,000 miles and the repair and maintenance costs exceed the value of the vehicle."

Councilman Bobby Griggs, who voted against the increase, said the city should not place more of a burden on its residents.

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Councilman Dick Rynearson supports the proposed budget and said the tax increase is necessary to Converse Chuck Taylor 2 Low

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