Broward Commissioners Give Preliminary Approval to FY2014 Budget  
  
  
DATE: September 10, 2013
CONTACT: Kimberly Maroe
Public Information Manager
Broward County Commission
PHONE: 954-357-8053
kmaroe@broward.org

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla - Broward Commissioners have given preliminary approval to the proposed fiscal year 2014 budget. The FY14 recommended total budget, which includes tax supported and non-tax supported funds, is $4.1 billion.  The recommended budget decreases by $151.8 million from the current budget and is reflective of an improving economy. The budget continues Broward County services at their current levels.

The most significant change in the proposed budget is consolidation and funding of the Consolidated Countywide E-911 Communications and Dispatch emergency system, which shifts the costs away from several cities to the county in order to achieve the long sought after life saving benefits of consolidation.

The proposed total (tax supported and non-tax supported) millage rate includes a slight increase of .17 mills  or less than 20 cents per $1,000 of taxable value, due to the shift of public safety call taking and dispatch costs from cities to the County.  The proposed combined millage rate for FY14 is $5.723 per thousand dollars of taxable value. 

"I'm going to support this budget, but it is what it is not because of Broward County, but because of the cities. They refused this financial responsiblity and we are forced to pay for it," said Commissioner Stacy Ritter.

"This budget provides for county services, funding for a diverse community, incentives for economic development. For me the $22.5 million for dispatch is a pass through to the cities.  This is the County paying for a city issue, but we have taken a regional approach to provide a better system.  This budget reflects the expertise of the Broward Commission and the quality of our staff," said Commissioner Tim Ryan.

"We govern a countywide system. I see this as saving lives and providing a better, more efficient system.  The only way we could get this done was to pay for it, for the safety and welfare of the public,"  noted Commissioner Dale V.C. Holness.

Mayor Kristin Jacobs and Commissioner Chip LaMarca disagreed.

"I'm voting against this budget because the cities would not share in the cost of the 911 system.  Furthermore, the cities will save money because the County is now paying for these services, but most cities aren't passing along that savings to their residents.  In fact, some cities are increasing their millage rates," said Mayor Jacobs.

"I'm a stauch advocate of public safety, but I won't vote for a tax increase.  I was in favor of sharing the costs with cities or some other funding mechanism, but not a tax increase, " said Commissioner Chip LaMarca.

The budget passed with a 7 to 2 vote.  Mayor Jacobs and Commissioner LaMarca voting against approval.

Most taxpayers will see a small increase in their county taxes. Of those experiencing an increase, many are homestead property owners with the Save Our Home differential.  At an average taxable value of $124,000, these taxpayers can expect a $37 increase in County property (ad valorem) taxes in FY 14.  Other residential properties, primarily non-homesteaded properties, with an average taxable value of $132,000 will experience an estimated increase of $61.  This is being implemented so that dispatch services can be consolidated to improve public safety while achieving long-term cost savings for taxpayers.

County taxes consist of less than one-quarter of the overall tax bill, which also includes city taxes, school district taxes and special taxing districts.

A second public hearing is set for September 24 beginning at 5:01 p.m. at the Governmental Center, 115 S. Andrews Ave., and Room 422 in
Fort Lauderdale. Final budget approval is expected after the public hearing.  The fiscal year 2014 budget takes effect on October 1, 2013.


For more information on the Broward County budget, visit 
broward.org/budget.

 
 
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