- The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (formerly Reedy Creek Improvement District) has disclosed its Fiscal Year 2024 budget.
- The proposed budget includes a 6.8 percent reduction in the existing millage rate, lowering it from 13.9000 to 12.9500, resulting in property tax cuts within its jurisdiction.
- The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the millage rate, which was reached through an internal analysis of budget constraints and property assessments from Orange and Osceola County tax assessors.
- The budget also increases the district’s reserve fund, includes dedicated emergency response line items, and stops using taxpayer dollars to fund private use of the district’s public police force for commercial benefit
The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, formerly known as the Reedy Creek Improvement District, disclosed its Fiscal Year 2024 budget, which includes a series of property tax cuts within its jurisdiction.
The existing millage rate is reduced by 6.8 percent in the proposed budget, from 13.9000 to 12.9500, and establishes that one mill is equivalent to $1 in taxes due per $1,000 of taxable assessed property value. The plan was unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors.
During Wednesday’s board meeting, district officials noted that the reduced millage rate was reached following an internal analysis of budget constraints and property assessments from Orange and Osceola County tax assessors.
“We’re able to do this by prioritizing spending and implementing best government practices,” said District Administrator Glenton Gilzean. “We are also fortifying our financial reserve and making sure that there is a quality financial reserve in this proposal.”
Board members also stated that the amended millage rate is the maximum rate the district can levy without “extraordinary notification” requirements to all property owners within its borders, and would be considered the upper limit of what the supervisors can approve. The budget additionally increases the district’s reserve fund to include line items such as dedicated emergency response.
Moreover, the budget eliminates taxpayer dollars from being used to fund the private use of the district’s public police force for commercial benefit. According to Gilzean, instead of using private security or hiring additional police officers, private entities have “placed the financial burden on citizens” by billing the district to police its property.
“What we discovered, is that the district was paying over $8 million a year in overtime for law enforcement services provided exclusively for Disney properties,” he said. “Disney isn’t the only taxpayer in this district. We have other taxpayers. That doesn’t make any sense to me, and it doesn’t make any sense to anyone on our team who has looked into it.”
Total projected expenditures for the fiscal year were presented as $198.7 million, a $13 million increase from the year prior. Financial analysts for the district also stated that its contribution rates to the Florida Retirement System fund are expected to rise by 2 percent for regular class members and 4.8 percent for higher-risk members.
The proposed budget is subject to a workshop session in August and a pair of hearings in September before it can be fully ratified and implemented.