CRESTVIEW — The City Council unanimously voted to allow the tentative 2016-17 millage rate to remain unchanged as it begins planning for the new fiscal year.

“This is not the final millage,” City Clerk Betsy Roy said. “It can go down but it can't go up.”

Roy and her staff recommended the council adopt the current 6.9466 millage as a planning tool for the next fiscal year.

As the budget process begins, she and her staff will prepare property tax income projections from the current millage as well as several reduced millage rates.

“The difference in our projected income from millage this year if we stay at the 6.9466 is an increase of $136,000,” Roy said.

For budgeting purposes Roy uses 95 percent of that projection, which accounts for delinquent or unpaid taxes or other variations.

Roy will send the millage to the county property appraiser next week for inclusion in property owners’ TRIM—short for “truth in millage”—tax notices.

“When we get to the budget process, if, by chance,  we need to, we can lower it,” Roy said of the millage rate.

“I remind the council we are in the middle of hurricane season and we don’t want to set it low and then have to use our reserves for a hurricane and then not have money to function next year,” Roy said.