FY 2020 Approved General Fund Expense Budget.png

BROOKSVILLE — The Hernando County Commission has approved a budget for the county’s 2020 fiscal year that includes a nearly 15 percent increase in the general fund property tax levy.

By raising the general fund property tax rate a full one mill, to 7.8912 mills from 6.8912 mills, at a Sept. 24 public hearing, commissioners hope to wipe out the budget problems that led to the January ouster of then-County Administrator Len Sossaman.

The county’s total budget for fiscal 2020, which goes into effect Oct. 1, is $528,115,249.

By raising the general fund property tax rate by one mill, the county will be able to balance revenue and expenses and avoid having to take from reserves, as it did during the current fiscal year.

The 7.8912 property tax rate is expected to generate $123,212,691 in general fund revenue in fiscal 2020, which will help restore the reserve fund balance the county had to tap to make ends meet in fiscal 2019, according to a county news release.

A mill generates one dollar of tax revenue from each $1,000 of assessed taxable property value.

In addition to the general fund tax rate, the 2020 county budget’s other ad valorem tax levies are: transportation trust fund, 0.7091 mills; health unit trust fund, 0.1102 mills; emergency medical services municipal service tax unit, 0.9100; and stormwater management MSTU, 0.1139 mills.

In May, the County Commission voted to name Jeff Rogers as the permanent replacement for Sossamon as county administrator. Rogers, who had been the deputy county administrator since September 2017, was named acting county administrator in January, after the County Commission voted 3-2 to terminate Sossamon’s contract.