By Jessie R. Box
Greene Publishing, Inc.
District 2 City Commissioner Ina Thompson held a community meeting on Wednesday, July 23 at 5:30 p.m. in the Madison County Public Library. Her guest speaker was Ken Small of the Florida League of Cities. His topic of discussion was city budgets.
Small discussed that the City of Madison is able to collect a property tax without it going to the state. The property tax has a maximum of 10 mils.
There are three taxes that the city can collect that the state will not get a share of and they are the utility tax, communication service tax and the local business tax. With the utility tax, the city can levy up to 10 percent on the purchase of electricity, metered and bottled gas and water service. The communication service tax allows cities to levy up to 5.22 percent. According to Small, the local business tax is a small amount of money.
The city also has a franchise agreement with the electric company to use valuable right of ways. The city receives six percent of the monies the electric company receives from the citizens. This brings in about $220,000.
Florida has two revenue sharing programs and they are municipal revenue sharing and the half-cent sales tax. Municipal revenue sharing takes 1 1/3 percent of all sales tax collected in Florida and shares it with all the cities in Florida. The city of Madison gets $110,000 from this program and receives $78,000 from the half-cent sales tax from the state. It is derived from a set percentage of what is collected in Madison.
The local option gas tax garners $357,000. There is a local options sales tax, where the money can only be spent on infrastructure, however, due to an Interlocal agreement, the money received from this goes only to the county.