Alachua County’s millage rate is dropping by about 5% for the 2020-21 fiscal year, saving property owners collectively as much as $6.5 million.
County commissioners voted this week to approve the decrease, which includes both the General Fund and the Law Enforcement, Municipal Services Taxing Unit (MSTU).
The millage rate determines property taxes in Florida. One mill equals $1 in taxes for every $1,000 in property value.
The median property tax rate in Alachua County prior to the Commission’s move was $1,984, according to a statewide survey by Tax-Rates.org. The site found Alachua County ranks higher compared with neighboring counties like Marion ($1,299), Bradford ($835), Putnam ($813) and Columbia ($1,147). Still, it ranks lower compared with other counties such as St. Johns ($2,702), Hillsborough ($2,168), Collier ($2,399), and Miami-Dade ($2,756). At 26th lowest, Florida ranks near the middle overall among property tax rates nationwide, according to a 2020 WalletHub ranking.
Alachua County’s General Fund millage rate this year will drop below 8 mills for only the third time in the last three decades. The millage rate has gone from 8.2729 mills to 7.8935 mills and will allow the county to collect $122.3 million. The MSTU millage rate went from 3.7240 mills to 3.5678 mills, for a total collection of $23 million.
“Over these last months of budget deliberations, as they witnessed the many residents that were struggling financially, the Commissioners made it clear that a lower property tax rate was their overarching priority,” County Manager Michele Lieberman said in a press release. “I am very grateful to my department heads, the Judiciary, and the Constitutional Officers, for presenting budgets that were sensitive to this, which helped me build a budget that achieved the Commission’s objective.”
The new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.