(WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) - They're the words no one ever wants to hear. Property taxes are one step away from going up for those who live in the City of Orlando. City leaders are expected to approve a 17.7 percent increase at their budget hearing on Monday night.
“I think it's a little steep all at one time,” said Joy Fox, who lives in Orlando. “I might be able to pay for it; people that are on fixed incomes are going to have a difficult time with such a sharp increase all at one time.”
Many residents told Fox 35 that they understand city leaders must balance the budget, but added this is asking too much of residents, especially when many say they feel not all neighbors receive their fair share of the money.
“We should all have a benefit from that,” said Orlando resident Shamar Jordan. “If not, it's not responsible. It's irresponsible. We need responsible leaders.”
The increase is part of Mayor Buddy Dyer's proposed budget. City commissioners already cut about $52 million, but they said they still need to slash $17 million more. City leaders blame several things, such as state tax reforms. City employees will also get a 2 percent raise.
The hike equals about $120 per year for every $100,000 your home is worth.
It's something realtor Karen Arbutine said worries many of her first time homebuyers.
“In the $100,000-$200,000 price range, they're very sensitive,” said Arbutine. “And that could increase their taxes up to a $150 a year."
Arbutine also said she worries what that could mean for the city's bottom line years down the road.
“We need the first-time homebuyers to keep purchasing to keep the economy flowing,” said Arbutine.
The final vote is scheduled for Monday evening. The hearing is expected to begin at 5:01 p.m. at City Hall.
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