AVON PARK — The City of Avon Park’s low property tax rate of .3 mills could be going up with the TRIM (Truth-in-Millage) notice set at 2 mills.

Councilman Jim Barnard said Thursday the 2 mills would be the maximum tax rate, but as the city goes through the budget process it can be set to zero or anything up to 2 mills.

“I am pretty sure it won’t go up to 2 mills,” he said. “We have a new city manager, new department heads and now we have a new finance guy, so I think they have got ideas on where they think they need more money to hire more people.

“So we may see somebody asking for an increase in the property taxes in Avon Park, but right now we haven’t raised anything. It is just the maximum that we can go.”

At a recent council meeting staff asked for three extra employees and council authorized the hiring of two more people if there was money in the budget for their salaries, Barnard said.

Council members have been advised that they can meet with the finance director within the next to weeks to review the city’s finances and see what is needed for the budget. Barnard plans to take advantage of that opportunity.

In developing the 2020-21 budget, council members will share their opinions, Barnard said.

Barnard believes the city needs more employees as the city has a lot of infrastructure problems with water and sewer.

“I think we are going to have to do something, but it all depends on the wishes of the council,” he said.

Last year council members didn’t vote for the TRIM notice to go to 2 mills, they left it exactly where it was. Now council members want to go to 2 mills so if administration can prove it needs money to hire more employees, then possibly council will look at raising the millage. That has yet to be decided.