ITID assessments are non-ad valorem and are not restricted under the Save Our Homes (SOH) cap. If not for the work of the Board of Supervisors, the 2023 ITID budget would have been nearly double what was eventually adopted. What was adopted was NOT double, they did however increase to deal with increasing costs and burdens on the district infrastructure. The ITID adopted budget for 2023 can be found here.
With incorporation, the majority of taxes will be ad valorem and subject to the SOH cap. We have been very upfront in telling residents their tax bill may go up, it may also go down. There is a tax calculator here. However, this one-time increase in the base will not be allowed to grow at an uncontrolled rate, such as we have now.
Yes, we will continue to pay County taxes for county services. For example, currently included in your county taxes is PBSO services for a “rural level of service” and county-wide services and infrastructure. PBSO officers are not dedicated to our area. If there is a need in another PBSO unit, the officers assigned here are sent there and we can be left with no police officers in our area. The level of service is decided and directed by the County. Our community has no input into the level of service needed or desired. As a municipality, we are advised, PBSO fees included in your county taxes will continue for county-wide services such as court houses, jails, and other law enforcement activities. This is not free police services, we are paying for it already.
The Village of Loxahatchee will negotiate a contract with PBSO to provide dedicated officers to our Village based on the level of service required. This would be similar to our own police force but with the full force of all of PBSO. The PBSO fee accounted for in our feasibility study is the estimate provided to ITID by PBSO, for the feasibility study, during the FCR committee public meetings.
The Village will always have the option of creating their own police or cost share with a neighboring municipality, however, we believe this is a matter that would require a feasibility study on that specific issue by the future town council.
We do not want or expect additional services that would not only increase taxes but try to make us like “urban cities”. The goal is to have a dedicated level of service, consistent with the needs and desires in our community and directed by our residents elected to represent us.
To read the Florida Statute regarding home rule authority and law enforcement officers, it can be found under F.S. 166.049.
Can we incorporate and not raise taxes?
The purpose of the feasibility study is to analyze the existing tax base and expenses as a municipality to determine whether we would be sustainable as a municipality. It can not include unbuilt residential or commercial in that evaluation. The feasibility study has shown that we would be sustainable as a municipality with an initial millage rate of 3.
You can find the original feasibility study from 2021 here and the updated 2022 Addendum here.
Our taxpayers should also be evaluating remaining solely as a Special District (ITID) and the increasing expenses and burden on the taxpayer as a result of surrounding developments impacts.
To calculate your proposed taxes on incorporation, we have created a tax calculator to help you https://votelox2022.com/calculate-proposed-municipal-taxes/
What are the ins and outs of the gas taxes we could collect were we to become a village and how they might assist in offsetting possible tax increases?
In short, any revenue generated from gas taxes and sales taxes, we don’t get contributed or invested in our community. The County currently gets these funds. They are not invested in our community. A municipality would be eligible to share in these additional revenue sources, so it will help to pay for improvements and maintenance that we currently pay for through assessments and debt to Indian Trail.
Currently, Special Districts are not eligible to collect on fuel taxes or sales even though Indian Trail maintains over 500 miles of roadways. The cost to maintain and improve our roads is paid for by the residents in Indian Trail by Unit or Road Plan. So for example most of the roads in a unit that are dirt are maintained by the unit assessment for that unit. Other roads, mainly the paved roads (but not all) are in a road plan such as the R1, R2 and R3. In those road plans, multiple units that were deemed to benefit by the paving of the roads in the plan, paid for the improvements to those roads. When it comes time to repave them, those residents will also be the only ones paying for the re-paving.
There are many different fuel taxes. Think of it as a pie. There is a complicated formula that is used to calculate the share of fuel tax revenues to a municipality that is based on population. Ultimately it works out that the County gets approximately 60% of the pie and the municipalities in the county would get the remaining portion based on the calculation. Some examples of fuel tax revenue can be found here. FDOT Tax Primer Document
If we incorporate our taxes will go up and we will be forced to allow more and more commercial to support the municipality?
The future municipality will have to adopt the County Comprehensive Plan until they adopt their own within 2 years. By Statute, the municipality has to honor what is already approved by the County on the date of incorporation. There is already approved and unbuilt commercial as well as residential development, that will not be included in the feasibility numbers because the statute requires that projected income only include existing tax base. Therefore, the feasibility and sustainability has only looked at existing and not future already approved but unbuilt residential developments or commercial. The future municipal board will be the ones to make decisions about what, if anything, is appropriate. The feasibility study showed we would be sustainable as a municipality with a millage rate of 3 with the already built commercial. We do not agree with the assertion that we would have to approve commercial to support incorporation. To calculate your proposed taxes on incorporation, we have created a handy calculator, go here https://votelox2022.com/calculate-proposed-municipal-taxes/