Palm Coast Mayor David Alfin proposed to reduce the City of Palm Coast taxes to the rollback rate (4.257 mills), a motion seconded by Councilperson Teresa Carli-Pontieri. The discussion that followed, including public comment, featured political threats and sadly declined into a yelling and screaming match (mostly from residents).

The result of the conversation was a 3-2 vote to approve rolling back City of Palm Coast taxes (Support: Alfin, Carli-Pontieri, Klufas. Oppose: Danko, Heighter). Part of the reason the rollback tax cut was approved by a 3-2 margin was due to the next item on the agenda, the FPL Franchise Fee. For example, Councilman Ed Danko called the tax rollback …”a cheap political trick that robs Peter to pay Paul.” A second hearing will occur before the final millage is approved. The video below will begin with the Mayor’s motion.

Immediately following the property tax rollback vote, the City Council discussed the FPL Franchise Fee, which if approved, would add an undetermined percentage to the energy bills of City of Palm Coast FPL customers (likely between 0.5% – 6%) for a 30 year period. The fee is being considered, in part, because the City of Palm Coast Strategic Plan calls for the diversification of city income. The funding generated from a possible FPL Franchise Fee agreement would not be subject to the same restrictions of typical ad valorem tax revenue. The Palm Coast City Council previously noted that this funding would specifically be used to help with road repaving.

The franchise fee conversation was just as contentious, with residents continuing to politically threaten elected officials. Ultimately, Councilperson Teresa Carli-Pontieri motioned to approve the FPL Franchise Fee at 0.5%, and to also have a non-binding referendum on the General Election ballot asking for residents to share their opinion. This motion also passed 3-2 (Support: Alfin, Carli-Pontieri, Klufas. Oppose: Danko, Heighter). Another hearing in August is required before officially approving this agreement. The video below is the beginning of the FPL Franchise Fee agenda item discussion:

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