It’s going to be a tough year for every taxing district on Fort Myers Beach. However, so far, three out of those four taxing districts also realize how tough it is on Fort Myers Beach residents trying to rebuild their homes and will not be raising taxes.
On Thursday the Fort Myers Beach Library Board voted to keep its 2023-2024 millage rate at .2355 per $1,000 of assessed property value, the same rate for fiscal 2022-2023. By holding that rate, the library will see $452,000 less due to the decrease in property values on the island.
In fiscal 2022-2023 the .2355 millage rate generated $1.2 million for the library budget. In fiscal 2023-2024 it will generate $748,000. The library receives additional funds from donations, interest and state aid but it’s minimal. The shortfall will be made up by bringing back fewer staff members and dipping into reserves.
The library is currently closed due to Hurricane Ian and while repairs are coming along, there is no timetable for a reopening, mainly because of the elevator. TrurnKey Recovery Project Manager Todd Mecey told the board the sheer volume of elevators and elevator parts needed for the Fort Myers Beach area is holding up the final repairs for the library elevator.
Mecey reported that the library roof is 100 percent repaired, interior paint and drywall is 90% complete, the HVAC system is 95% done and the electric is 80% complete. They are also waiting on parts for their automated book return.
The Library Board will hold its first budget hearing on September 12th at 5:05PM at Diamondhead. The 2nd hearing will be September 26th. After approving the millage rate of .2355 this week, the rate can only be lowered moving forward. It cannot be raised.
In June the Fort Myers Beach Town Council voted to keep its millage rate the same at .99 per $1,000 of assessed property value. The one remaining taxing district on Fort Myers Beach is the mosquito district. We’ve requested a copy of their budget but have not heard back. We do know they are planning to meet August 8th at 8AM in a trailer at 300 Lazy Way. That’s also the same day the LPA meets.