Gulfport Budget Hearing Short and Peaceful

“‘There is no limit to what can be accomplished if it doesn’t matter who gets the credit.’ Ralph Waldo Emerson.”

With those words Gulfport Councilwoman Barbara Banno opened the city’s first budget hearing on Wednesday, September 5. The hearing took less than 10 minutes and heard no comment from the public. City council unanimously adopted the roll-forward tax rate of 4.0390 mils, or roughly $4.04 per thousand dollars of taxable value.

This represents a tax rate increase for property owners, but the average property owner in Gulfport will not see a dollar increase, according to City Manager Jim O’Reilly. This rate allows the city to collect the same amount of tax revenue as last year. This results from decreasing property values (about 1.1% on the average in Gulfport).

Council also approved a $10.5 million balanced operations budget, down from the initial proposed $10.8 million budget the council faced in May.

O’Reilly thanked the staff as well as the council, and the council, including councilmembers Dan Liedtke and Jennifer Salmon, thanked city staff.

“I feel like we’re doing the right thing, we have a fiscally responsible budget, and not all the other cities are able to do that without making huge concessions in other things, so I think we have a lot to be proud of,” Councilwoman Jennifer Salmon said.

Gulfport will hold its second and final budget hearing on September 19 at 7 p.m. in city council chambers.