COCOA Fla. – Property tax rates will go up in Cocoa as the City Council passed a 4-1 vote Tuesday night on the budget for the upcoming year, which begins Oct. 1.
According to FloridaToday.com, Millage rates for the city of Cocoa are slated to be increased from last year’s rate of 5.579 to 6.453 mills. One mill equals $1 in taxes for every $1,000 of a property’s taxable value. The proposed rate represents an average increase of $23 annually on homes in the city of Cocoa.
That increase will pay for the city’s 2021-2022 budget of $43.1 million. Last year’s final adopted budget was $41.3 million, marking for a 4% year-over-year increase.
City Manager Stockton Whitten said the millage increase is largely to keep Cocoa competitive as an employer against other local governments who are vying for the same workforce.
“The emphasis on preparing and planning for the Fiscal Year 2022 budget was on retaining and recruiting employees that provide direct services to our community including police officers, firefighters, and utilities and public works employees,” Whitten said in an email.
“Another challenge faced while preparing this upcoming budget included worn-out, aging and failing equipment such as police and fire communication radios, police vehicles, street and public works maintenance equipment and more,” he added.
City spokeswoman Samantha Senger said Cocoa’s millage rate was around the median for all municipalities in the county. The millage rate increase comes as property values in Cocoa increase, albeit more slowly than the rest of the county, Senger said.
Property values in the past year have increased by 4.3%, which Senger said is the lowest increase out of any city in the county, including unincorporated Brevard County.