The Broward County Board of County Commissioners will be setting the County-levied millage rate this September.
This decision sets the County Budget for Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) making an impact for property owners in Broward County.
Broward County FY19 Recommended Budget
It’s that time of year again! In September, the Broward County Board of County Commissioners will set the County-levied millage rate. Initial discussions were held in March of this year, which was followed by a series of workshops that will culminate in two public hearings in September. The 1st Public Budget Hearing is September 13th and the 2nd is September 25th and both are held at 5:01pm. Every year the Office of Budget and Management has the incredible task of analyzing the estimated property tax roll that is received from the Broward County Property Appraiser. The County Administrator then uses this information to develop the Operating and Capital budget recommendations. The budget recommendations are provided to the Board of County Commissioners in July and discussed at workshops throughout August. Finally, in September two public meetings are held, which gives the residents of Broward County the opportunity to provide their comments regarding any aspect of the budget. Once the budget is finalized and approved, the new fiscal year begins in October 2018.
The total proposed budget for FY19 is $4.83 billion, which is slightly lower than FY18 by $75.1 million and incorporates all tax-supported and non-tax supported funds. Homestead properties are expected to see increases in tax bills of 2.1% due to the change in assessed value, but residents will not see an increase in their County-levied millage rate for FY19. The FY19 recommended budget sets the total millage rate at 5.6690, the same as FY18. The charts below provide a more detailed example of the changes you will see in your property tax bill, based on the FY19 total millage rate of 5.6690.
HOMESTEAD PROPERTY WITH
“SAVE OUR HOMES” DIFFERENTIAL
Based on the State-mandated 2.1% percent
maximum increase in assessed value
|Change FY18 to FY19||$19|
Based on the percent change in the average taxable
value for all residential properties
|Change FY18 to FY19||$89|
Residents should be aware of several important aspects of this budget as it reflects some of the County Commission’s and communities’ priorities. General Fund operating budgets (constitutional officers and county agencies) increase by $51.1 million, or about 4.1%, of the Revised FY18 Budget. The general fund budget includes a 4.6% increase to the Broward Sheriff’s Office budget, a portion of which provides for Risk Protection Officers to implement the new state law designed to prevent individuals with high-risk of harming themselves or others from accessing firearms. Additional funds are allocated as additional resources to support fixed-route and paratransit services ($9.49 million), Elderly Homeless Prevention ($.162 million), to address homelessness through a private public partnership ($1.2 million), cultural non-profit funding ($.500 million), increase the County’s living wage for contract and County employees by 5% to $12.99 per hour ($1.2 million), and other community initiatives ($.9 million).
The FY19 recommended budget also increases reserves to prepare for the impact of an additional homestead exemption on the November 2018 ballot (if approved by voters) and to increase funding for emergencies to cover shelter operation expenses and critical supplies.
As supportive as I am personally of many important services that are funded in this budget, such as law enforcement, public safety, and the expansion of services to residents that rely upon Broward County as a last resort, I have strong reservations about supporting the millage rate as proposed. With the strong increase in property values and the expansion of our economy in Broward County, we should be able to roll-back the millage rate to cover the
increase in property tax assessments. I will reserve my final decision until the County Commission meets to discuss the overall budget and the possibility of making any changes.
If you have any thoughts, concerns or issues you would like to share with me or if there is any way I can be more helpful as we go forward in the Broward County budget process and as election day gets near, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
As always, it is my honor to serve you.