Related video above: Tampa residents voice opinions over proposed property tax increase.

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said Tuesday that the city is “so far behind” on road maintenance that a property tax increase is necessary.

“If we don’t start tackling this today, our road conditions will only grow worse and the inevitable expenses higher,” Castor said in a statement posted to X, formerly known as Twitter.

The proposed tax increase is in the budget for the next fiscal year, which was presented by Castor last week.

Under the proposal, the millage rate would increase one point to 7.2076 and would cost the average household about $20 per month, Castor said. The new millage rate would be the highest since 8.16 in 1982 and the first increase since it went to 6.5390 in 1990.

“We don’t take lightly our budget proposal for Tampa property owners to pay more to keep our public safety strong and finally start tackling long-deferred maintenance of our roads,” Castor said.

City officials said 44 of Tampa’s 125 neighborhoods are rated to have “poor” pavement conditions.

“A world-class city deserves better, and now is the time for action,” Castor said.

The city’s second budget public hearing will take place next month.