Palm Coast

Palm Coast Enters Budget Season with Several Key Votes Ahead


The Palm Coast City Council is entering the critical budget season for the fiscal year of 2025, with several key votes coming up that determine the city’s financial expenditures next year. The process is receiving an extra dose of scrutiny due to its proximity to the 2024 election, in which two if not three seats on the City Council will turn over to new members.

Vice Mayor Ed Danko, a professed opponent of tax increases of any kind, is pushing for a rollback millage rate to prevent the real number residents are paying in property taxes from rising. His seat is one of two that will definitely see a new member this year, along with that of City Councilman Nick Klufas. The job of mayor may also turn over if incumbent David Alfin is unable to secure re-election over his four challengers.

The first major budgetary decision will come at the July 16th City Council meeting, in which the Council will set a maximum millage rate to be adopted for FY 2025. This will not necessarily be the rate that winds up being adopted, but will be a number the Council agrees not to exceed when the final vote is held later this year.

Next is the review of proprietary funds, taking place on July 23rd. This will most directly involve key services for residents such as wastewater and stormwater services and operations. The review will give the City Council an idea of the role these and similar services will play in budgeting for 2025, and the potential needs to raise revenue to accommodate improvements in service.

After that, the City Council will receive presentations on August 13th from several city departments on capital funds, fleet, and other special revenue budgets. Each applicable department will present a financial plan to the Council detailing how funds will be used and ensuring they’re flowing in the directions they need to.

The final proposed budget will be presented to the City Council on August 27th, allowing for an in-detail look at all expenditures and funding destinations to review and discuss any last-minute changes. This will be one of the most important steps in allocating taxpayer dollars toward different projects and initiatives around the city, making public participation as impactful as ever.

On September 5th and 18th, the City Council will hammer in its final millage rate with a tentative approval on the earlier date and a final approval on the latter one. This will decide officially how much homeowners will be paying in property taxes next year. If the Council adopts the same rate, it would mean taxes would increase by the same rate that property appreciated in the last year. A rollback rate would keep the taxes the same amount regardless of changes in value.