Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Palmetto Bay Village Council passes FY 2018-19 Budget that increases services and reduces the property tax millage rate to an all-time low of 2.2387

Reaffirming fiscal responsibility & government lite
Dear Fellow Palmetto Bay resident,
2.2387!  Good news! Last night, Monday, September 24, 2018, I led a village council to INCREASE services and REDUCE the property tax millage rate to an all-time low of 2.2387. Don't just compare the impact of this rate against last year's rate. Compare it to the rate in place before I was elected in 2014. That rate was 2.447. I am proud of obtaining not one, but two property tax rate reductions in four years. Not bad!
How good is this budget?  This is the first budget that the Vice Mayor voted for!  This is significant.  He brought forward our last budget adjustment of the hearing, providing for the first Cost of Living Adjustment for our village employees since 2008.  We want to reward our Palmetto Bay team members, some of whom have been with us since incorporation, for delivering quality services.
The new low of 2.2387 represents approximately an 8% overall property tax millage reduction since I took office in 2014.my goal of a second property tax reduction in the last four years has been realized: the new lowest property tax rate in Palmetto Bay's history. 
I continue to keep my promises to prevent budget creep, to control spending, to work hard to get the property tax rate lower to remain consistent to "government lite".
I waited until each council member and staff had their priorities funded before setting this 2.2387 property tax rate. We have funded our Police, Parks, Parks Programming, Planning (our master plans and studies), Planning & Zoning, and even for our pupils - the additional police cost for our schools to cover the shortfalls of the School Board.  This is all for the benefit of our Palmetto Bay residents.  We have priorities funded for traffic calming, economic development and our special events.  We have strong reserves. But once again, it is time to set a realistic property tax millage rate and not take more money from our residents than is needed.
Please note that public safety remains fully funded.  I will never support a cut to our collective security.  
Palmetto Bay will never be a government that spends money simply because it has the revenue to spend.  This causes 'budget creep' - new spending each and every year to cover increase in property values. Adjusting your property tax millage rate to match the budget is the appropriate vehicle to prevent expenditures creeping up to keep pace with revenues. 

Providing quality services here in Palmetto Bay AND reducing the property tax mileage rate; it's YOUR money. 

Your Mayor.
Eugene Flinn

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