WPB Non-Ad Valorem Tax

City Commission meeting held on 8/28/2017 item #18 on the agenda was Ordinance No. 4725-17 finding a special benefit and authorizing a non ad-valorem special assessment for Residential Solid Waste & Recycling collection services; and Resolution # 274-17 setting the assessment rate and approving the Assessment Roll”. What does that mean?
The city, with the help of Scott Kelly, Assistant City Administrator, found a way to reach deeper into our pockets and have a portion of residents bills namely “Residential Sanitation” which consist of Garbage & Trash and Recycling placed on the tax bill.

If you examine your bill from the city you will find 4 sections that resident are billed for and I offer my bill as an example.

(1) Residential Water:
Service Charge $21.43
Usage $2.41
Utility Tax $2.39

(2) Residential Wastewater:
Service Charg $12.24
Usage $3.61

(3) Residential Sanitation
Garbage & Trash $16.00
Recycling $2.85

(4) Residential Stormwater
Service Charge $13.17

First question: What is with the “Service Charge”? $46.84 total. Why not call it what it is?
So the city will remove $18.85 from our monthly billing and add $219.96 to our tax bill. I did not plan on this and already am short dollars to pay my tax bill in November, and how dare they bill us a year in advance for services not received. Their explanation “other cities do it” so that makes it alright?
Well the good news it didn’t pass to be placed of the tax rolls this year, but it is a certainty for next year. So this year we will pay the $18.85 monthly, and place the same amount in our monthly budget for 2018. There is some good news the recycling fee will be reduced from $2.85 to $2.33 saving residents a whopping $6.24 a year. I don’t know what people will do with their savings but I intend to have a gourmet meal at McDonalds.

I was one of several residents who spoke out about passing the non ad-valorem tax and placing it on our County tax roll. Mr. Kelly said it would save the city money on the billing by removing #3 from the monthly billing. How is that going to save the city money by removing it? Residents will still receive a monthly billing. I believe once the city places #3 on the tax roll they will find a way to raise one of the other 3 or invent a new one to take it’s place.
The bill I receive from the city is my highest bill including FPL.

I am one of thousands of retired workers living on Social Security and being responsible I pay my bills on time and never spend more money than what I receive. I pay my tax bill in November to save 4% of my total bill.
The last tax bill I receive I start to budget my money for the next tax year. This year I budgeted $123.00/ month, now it has jumped to $141.00 thanks to the city.
I can’t wait to see how the city will add the $18.33 we will be saving from our monthly bill. The last line in the notice received from the city speaks volumes. “”A rate study will be undertaken in 2018 to determine the needed level rates for future years”
So the city is giving you a heads up—–It’s coming, be ready,

Both Commissioner Ryan & Materio spoke up for the residents. Commissioners Neering & Moffett stayed mute, while Commissioner James asked if they could pass it and have it take effect next year. The answer was no.