Tax increase still equals budget cuts in Broward; final budget approved tomorrow
The Broward County Commission has approved a tentative budget for FY 2011 that cuts nearly $80 million dollars and sets the millage rate at 5.598. The vast majority of Broward County property owners will see a $141 reduction in the County portion of their tax bill. Roughly 35% of Broward homeowners will see an increase of $45 total for the year. Since 2007 Broward Commissioners have made more than $220 million in budget cuts. For more than a decade the property tax millage rate in Broward County has been reduced or remained the same.
Commissioners approved a revised budget proposal that provided an additional $9.7 million in cuts from a proposed budget that already reduced the general fund (property tax supported) budget by roughly $70 million. Commissioners rejected the original proposal two weeks ago and pressed for additional cuts before agreeing on a FY2011 budget that slightly increased the property tax millage rate by 3.9% from the year before. The budget reductions were shared by the Constitutional Offices of the Broward Sheriff’s Office, the Broward County Property Appraiser and the Broward County Supervisor of Elections.
Broward County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs made the motion to set the millage rate at 5.598, a compromise that resulted in property tax reductions for most property owners and an increase for some—the majority of which would have seen property tax increases no matter what cuts were made due to the Save Our Homes differential. The majority of Commissioners favored a plan that provided additional budget reductions, but had the least impact on county services and did not call for additional staff reductions. The budget was passed on a 5-3 vote. Mayor Ken Keechl, Commissioner Stacy Ritter and Commissioner Lois Wexler voted against the budget proposal.
The nearly $80 million in budget cuts will result in the elimination of a few bus routes, a reduction in some human services, staffing reductions at parks and a reduction in some cultural programs. But a number of services were spared severe cuts, including additional reductions in Children’s Services Behavioral Health, the elimination of Broward County Consumer Protection and the reorganization of the Historical Commission. County Commissioners also agreed to a 5.5% cumulative reduction in the County Commission budget consistent with reductions made by the Constitutional Offices. The $80-million in budget cuts called for staff reductions of 160 Broward County employees, but most have been placed in other positions. Constitutional offices cut an additional 130 jobs.
A public hearing to finalize the FY2011 budget is set for October 5th.
- Broward commission rejects proposed 2011 budget; asks for more cuts to keep same tax rate
- Broward commissioners FINALLY pass budget
- Broward passes FY10 budget with no tax increase; big loss in arts, services
- Final Broward County budget hearing tonight
- Still no budget for Broward County
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