Century Rejects 280% Tax Increase, Can’t Approve A Budget

September 27, 2023

A nearly 300% property tax increase in Century failed Tuesday evening, leaving the town without a new budget. And what happens next was not immediately clear.

The town council had previously given unanimous tentative approval to a a property tax increase with a millage rate of .9204, which is 290.66% greater than the rolled-back rate of .2356 mills.

Because the tax increase is so high, the state required unanimous approval on a final vote Tuesday, but the millage rate failed on a 4-1 vote with council president Dynette Lewis dissenting.

“I’m just not in favor of an increase at all,” Lewis said. “That’s a 290% increase, and I’m just in not in favor.”

Without a tax rate, the council was unable to vote on an $8 million budget proposed by interim Mayor Luis Gomez, Jr. The $8 million tentative budget is up more than $2 million (39%) over last year’s $5,8 million, mostly due to grant funds. It included a 3% raise for all employees, plus another $15,000 for the mayor to provide discretionary raises.

The town will head into the next fiscal year on October 1, but they will be able to spend funds under the tentative budget.

Town Clerk Leslie Howington attempted to call the town attorney by phone to find out what happens next on the millage rate but reached his voicemail.

It appears the town could be forced back to square one on a property tax rate with new advertising and new meetings.

Pictured top: Century Council president Dynette Lewis reviews the mayor’s budget Tuesday evening. Pictured below: A Century millage rate hearing. Pictured inset: No member of the public attended the meeting. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.


16 Responses to “Century Rejects 280% Tax Increase, Can’t Approve A Budget”

  1. Well on September 27th, 2023 9:01 pm

    We’re raising taxes…….
    Oh my God y’all don’t have a clue what you’re doing…….

    We’re not raising taxes…….
    Oh my God y’all don’t have a clue what you’re doing……

    I’m running for any political office………
    NO !!!

  2. Do Something About It on September 27th, 2023 3:28 pm

    Residents of Century–

    You’re obviously dissatisfied with your town leadership. If you’d like to see change…


    You will accomplish nothing complaining in the comment section of northescambia.com

    Go run for office and repair the town of Century.

  3. Roadrunner on September 27th, 2023 2:22 pm

    @time for a meeting. First of all, all the grant money flowing into century is because we are incorporated. So sitting down with anyone to “see what they offer” is ridiculous. There is nothing to offer. ECUA would be glad to move in and charge us twice what we pay now for utilities. I’m sick of hearing “unincorporate” from the mouths of the people who don’t care enough to be involved. Do something productive… run for office instead of trying to run things from the comfort of your armchair!

  4. IMHO on September 27th, 2023 10:38 am

    All those empty chairs at the meeting and so many anonymous comments on here. I got news for you. It’s never going to change until you stand up, use your voice and do something about it!!

  5. derek on September 27th, 2023 9:59 am

    So the City of Century has $2,000,000.00 extra due to grants but want go raise taxes over 200%. This is one of the poorest areas in the county and they want to tax business more and more. THIS IS WHY NO BUSINESS WANTS TO BE THERE!

  6. Rick on September 27th, 2023 9:58 am

    The entire town of Century
    isn’t worth 8 million dollars. Even with inflation.

  7. Sally on September 27th, 2023 9:54 am

    I can’t believe our mayor and council was going to triple our taxes. Shame on ya. Thanks Dynette Lewis for saving the day. I’ll be voting against all of you come November!!

  8. Steve on September 27th, 2023 9:43 am

    Don’t worry , somebody else will be sworn in next week .

  9. RaD on September 27th, 2023 9:16 am

    @Confused….Perhaps Ms. Lewis heard from her constituents and they were not happy with the increase. If so, she was right to vote no.

  10. Time for a meeting on September 27th, 2023 8:39 am

    Century cannot survive as a local government. It’s simply impossible from the perspective of finance and population, the economics of the community (poverty), and lack of interest, and so many issues.

    I’ve written a number of times about unincorporation, but the council never takes it up.

    So, here is a proposal. Why not have a joint session between the Council and the Escambia County Board of County Commissioners to discuss what could be offered by the County if unincorporation occurred.

    It seems that the issues that get the most attention from Century citizens, drawing people to the meetings, involve community centers, recreation, and low income services. Unincorporation is obviously scary because county government is so far removed from the community.

    A joint session of the governing parties may help pave the way for the county to determine how to govern an unincorporated community while recognizing and being attentive to community desires and needs.

    But to continue the present path… this is going nowhere.

  11. MIC Dropped on ya on September 27th, 2023 7:57 am

    Going after the producers (tax payers) in society to fund your mismanaged side show isn’t always the answer….. consult w/ ECUA. They are the champions of mismanagement

  12. CF on September 27th, 2023 7:26 am

    No budget! But what about the much needed Christnas lights???

  13. Thomas Paine on September 27th, 2023 7:12 am

    Good job Dynette Lewis

  14. OhYouKnow on September 27th, 2023 6:44 am

    Same town, Same circus different clowns

  15. wow on September 27th, 2023 6:30 am

    I am glad someone voted no. Century is a poor town and the people who live there now are already struggling. I imagine a bunch would move if they could afford to.
    You’ve got people being billed twice for utilities and some not being billed at all; maybe look into that for some money.

  16. Confused on September 27th, 2023 3:33 am

    So let me get this straight. Ms. Lewis voted no on the exact thing she voted yes on last week? Sounds about right. Great job continuing to fail council!