St. George Islanders mull incorporation

Published: Tuesday, July 1, 2014 at 12:44 PM.

An estimate of the costs


The committee has already consulted both County Planner Alan Pierce and Jackel about incorporation and has reviewed the city budgets of Apalachicola and Carrabelle to estimate the cost of operating a municipal government.

As a municipality, the island would need an administrative staff, an attorney, office space, insurance including utilities and furnishings, and associated costs including a reserve fund.

Colston said he believes the cost of running the city would be between $200,000 and $300,000 annually. If the island incorporates, it must develop a municipal income stream to cover costs.

He said the island couldn’t depend on support from state funding although, as a municipality, it would become eligible for state and possible federal grants that are not available now. For a fee, the municipality could use the county’s grant writer to prepare proposals.

The island could raise funding by increasing property tax for landowners on the island. With an estimated $771 million in taxable value, increasing the tax rate by a quarter mil would produce $192,000 in income. This would add $25 of taxes annually per $100,000 of property value.

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