Margate officials go to Tallahassee to fight unfunded state mandates
By Mitch Pellecchia, publisher of www.margatenews.net
Margate Commissioner, Pam Donovan attended Broward Days in Tallahassee this month as part of an effort to get Margate’s voice heard during this year’s Florida Legislative Session. With Margate facing a possible $4 million budgetary shortfall in 2010, Donovan and other Broward County elected officials are asking state lawmakers to stop legislating unfunded mandates, as taxpayers in their cities can no longer afford them.
What is an unfunded mandate?
Unfunded mandates in Florida require local governments, such as Margate, to bill taxpayers for services required by the state without the state contributing funds to support said required services.
In addition, say critics, unfunded mandates cost taxpayers millions every year and they aren’t even afforded the opportunity to vote on them.
One example in Margate is state mandated “extra” pension benefits for police and fire personnel that go above and beyond pensions already funded by local property taxes. For example, Margate residents already support local fire and police pensions through ad valorem taxes. But the state requires that a larger piece of the local taxpayer pie go toward enhancing an already exceptional pension package for these workers. At the same time, taxable property values across Broward County continue to diminish at an alarming rate, which likely will result in financial crisis for more than one Broward city this year.
Read the rest of this story at BrowardNETOnline.com’s news partner MargateNews.net
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