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Orlando Raises Property Taxes 17.7%


The Orlando City Council voted unanimously Monday night to raise property taxes for the first time since 2008. The rate will increase 17.7 percent beginning in October.

Council members say the property tax hike is necessary to help plug a growing hole in the City of Orlando’s budget.

The tax rate will go up by one dollar, to $6.65 per $1,000 of taxable property value. That means the owner of a home worth $200,000 will pay about $200 more per year, closer to $150 per year with a homestead exemption.

City leaders say they held back on raising taxes throughout the recession, but they’re running out of ways to make up the $30 million budget shortfall. They say they're already planning to cut $15 million dollars in administrative costs. The property tax increase is expected to bring in $17 million.

The city’s share of building costs for the new performing arts center, the Major League Soccer stadium, and other downtown venues comes almost entirely from a separate funding source called the tourist development tax. By law, the tourist development tax cannot be used to fill the city’s budget gap.

Nicole came to Central Florida to attend Rollins College and started working for Orlando’s ABC News Radio affiliate shortly after graduation. She joined Central Florida Public Media in 2010. As a field reporter, news anchor and radio show host in the City Beautiful, she has covered everything from local arts to national elections, from extraordinary hurricanes to historic space flights, from the people and procedures of Florida’s justice system to the changing face of the state’s economy.