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INVESTIGATES: ‘That would suck’ Mayor Curry property tax proposal may not save you money

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Action News Jax investigates whether Jacksonville homeowners who are battling record-high inflation will truly get tax relief in Mayor Lenny Curry’s new budget.

Soaring prices for gas, food and housing has U.S. inflation at a new 40-year high, which is triple trouble for people like Thomas Pulliam.

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“Inflation is tough for you?” asked Action News Jax’s Ben Becker. “Yes absolutely,” said Pulliam.

Curry is attempting to address staggering home prices. He said in a tweet on Monday that when he unveils his budget on Thursday, it will include a “reduction in our city’s property tax rate.”

The mayor even boasted about it by tweeting a newspaper headline — but there’s more than meets the eye.

“Is a tax rate reduction necessarily a tax rate cut?” Becker asked Duval County Property Appraiser Jerry Holland. “No,” said Holland.

Holland sent Becker a form the city filed with the Florida Department of Revenue that shows Chief Administrative Officer Brian Hughes signing off on a proposed lower millage rate of 11.3169, but what does that mean?

“The answer is, you will pay less of an increase,” says Holland.

That’s right, less of more.

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Holland says instead of paying about $150 more per $100,000 of taxable value of your home, you will pay about $137.50 —  a 9% decrease — good, but not great, according to Holland.

“I would have probably doubled the amount, but again, not too great because again you have to be prepared to weather future storms,” said Holland.

This comes as Holland says the city is expected to generate about $100 million in property tax revenue, double its usual amount because of those rising home values.

“Your property taxes are probably going to go up, how do you feel about that?” Becker asked Pulliam. “That would suck,” Pulliam responded.

Curry still has the option to propose an even lower millage rate during his budget presentation on Thursday. City Council has the final word, but Holland says he’s never seen City Council change a request. The city has maintained the same millage rate since 2013.

Curry has supported raising taxes three times during his two terms, including doubling the gas tax.

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