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County adopts budget

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The Marion County Board of County Commissioners on Sept. 21 adopted the final budget for next fiscal year, which runs from Oct. 1, 2017 to Sept. 30, 2018. The total adopted budget is $640,336,480. This includes the countywide budget of $444,987,795 and the budgets of non-countywide entities ($195,348,685).

During its Sept. 21 final budget public hearing, the commission adopted the countywide millage rate of 4.02 mills. A millage rate of 4.02 equates to $4.02 for each $1,000 of taxable property value. The countywide millage rate funds:

1. The County General Fund, which includes the following:

Board of County Commissioners departments including Parks and Recreation, Public Library System, Fleet Management, Animal Services, Veterans Services, and others. Not included: Solid Waste, Building Safety, Utilities, Visitors and Convention Bureau, Airport and the Office of the County Engineer (transportation/roads).

Emergency medical transport provided by Marion County Fire Rescue.

Marion County Sheriff’s Office jail administration and emergency operations.

Constitutional Offices (Clerk of the Court and Comptroller, Supervisor of Elections, Property Appraiser, Tax Collector).

Courts and criminal justice (court administration technology, Guardian Ad Litem technology, public defender technology, and drug and teen courts).

Reserves for natural disasters and emergencies.

Partner agencies (The Centers, Inc., Marion Senior Services/Transit, Heart of Florida Health Center, Early Learning Coalition, and others).

2. Fine and forfeiture (overseen by the Sheriff’s Office, with some portions overseen by the Clerk of the Court and State Attorney’s Office).

3. The Florida Department of Health in Marion County. The Department of Health is a state-county funding partnership; this portion of the millage rate represents the county’s funding.

4. Parks and Land Acquisition Debt Service Fund. This voter-approved debt funds the Pennies for Parks program.

All other non-countywide millage rates will also remain at their current levels, including the MSTU for Law Enforcement and the MSTU for Fire, Rescue and EMS. The MSTU for Law Enforcement was kept at a millage rate of 3.47. This MSTU is applied to properties in the unincorporated areas of the county that receive sheriff patrol services. The MSTU for Fire, Rescue and EMS remained at a millage rate of 0.77.

The special assessment rates for solid waste and stormwater also remained at the same levels.

The Board of County Commissioners voted to adjust the fire assessment rates during a Sept. 13, 2016 public hearing; the assessment for a residential dwelling is now $194.31. For the fire assessment’s full list, visit: https://goo.gl/4Tk74T. To review the full budget documents, visit http://www.marioncountyclerk.org/boardofcountycommissionersbudget.