Orlando mayor proposes property tax hike to fill $30M shortfall

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ORLANDO, Fla. —

Currently the city of Orlando is facing a nearly $30 million shortfall and one of the ways Mayor Buddy Dyer and Chief Financial Officer Rebecca Sutton hope to fill the gap is by raising the property taxes.

On Monday, Dyer proposed raising property taxes by $1, which means the owner of a $200,000 home -- with a Homestead Exemption -- would have to pay $150 more a year.

Dyer said the city needs to money to fill a budget hole.

"That gap will likely get wider as the demand for city services increases in an improving economy," said Dyer.

The proposal would bring the tax to $6.25 for every $1,000 of taxable value. 

The preliminary millage rate hike was approved Monday, which means the city is one step closer to the tax hike.

The mayor said the budget shortfall is due in part to a statewide property tax passed in 2008 that caps the growth of property tax revenue a local government can receive.  He added that the tax hike does not come as a result of the new venues like the Citrus Bowl or SunRail.

If the budget changes are approved by city council in September, it would go into effect on Oct. 1, which is the first day of the city's fiscal year.

It would take six to seven years based on no inflation and no additional construction in the city to fill the nearly $30 million gap, officials said.