Dear Neighbor,

This week we approved your 2016-2017 City of Miami Beach Budget.  As you can see from my photo, it passes the weight test!

As I always say, if you understand the money, you understand everything.

In this email I provide you with some highlights as to how your City spends its resort and property tax dollars.  My colleagues and I scrubbed the details in this budget over the course of many long hours and multiple sessions on the Finance Committee, and debated relative priorities. 

Of course, as with our own household budgets, choices have to be made.  We are lucky that with our strong property values and healthy tourism economy we can afford many improvements to our parks, public safety, transportation and stomwater infrastructure, police and fire, and much much more.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please email me at, or call my office 786-459-7111.


Commissioner John Elizabeth Alemán
The Process
  1. Our City Manager drafted the baseline budget from the current level of service. 
  2. He then tasked department heads to identify cost savings.  That list of efficiencies was reviewed, and $1.1M in savings was approved by the Finance Committee at our first budget workshop. 
  3. At the same time, we examined detailed lists of potential enhancements.  Enhancements are new projects or expenditures that may have been requested by citizens or come out of ideas from city staff. 
  4. Subsequently, the commissioners had two more detailed budget workshops wherein we compared and chose between capital improvement projects as well as operating budget enhancements to settle on our final budget. 
  5. The Mayor & Commission held First and Second Readings with public hearings prior to voting to approve the City's budget.
  • The city-wide average increase in property values was 13.03%
  • Total budget: $604.7 million
  • Operating budget: $317.2 million (5.6% increase, $16.9 million)
  • Stormwater fees increased to help pay for the city’s $300 million program to install pumps and raise roads (raised to $22.67)
  • Adopted property tax rate $5.88/$1,000
  • Proposed millage rate (58.8888) is the lowest in our City’s history!
  • $1.1 million of reductions/efficiencies
  • $3.6  million of service enhancements
Highlights of the 2016-2017 City of Miami Beach Budget
There are many more components of the city operating and capital budgets, these are just a few items of interest...

Public Safety
  • $1.3M to create a new Fire Dept. response unit that includes staffing for the Fire Boat
  • $1.1M for a new Entertainment District Police Unit which includes 12 new officers and 24/7 coverage plus dedicated homeless outreach
  • $509K for new Park Rangers in Lummus Park
  • $212K for 3 new police officers for 41st corridor and the boardwalk
  • $169K enhancements to surveillance camera program
  • $143K for 2 new police officers for North Beach
  • $45K more for school resource officer program
  • 50 more police body cameras
  • Homeless Work Training Program
Premier Neighborhoods
  • $255K to add 3 new Code Enforcement officers to provide proactive enforcement and investigation of illegal short-term rentals
  • $187K for new Greenspace Tree Trimmers and a Bucket Truck for Right of Way Maintenance
  • Funding for special events including the World Out Games, Miami Beach Air & Sea Show, Major League All Star Baseball Game, and the North Beach International Tennis Competition
  • 100 more trash cans to continue our Cans on Every Corner
  • Lighting improvements throughout the City
  • $40M Initial Miami Beach Light Rail / Modern Streetcar fund set-aside ($10M of this may be redirected for Zika-related losses in resort tax revenue)
  • $8.3M for new West Avenue intercept parking garage
  • $1M pavement and sidewalk improvements
  • New Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) and Smart Parking systems
  • Continued implementation of the Stormwater Infrastructure improvements including pumps and sewer
  • Continuation and enhancement of the City’s free trolley system
  • Continuation of green biking lanes
Education Excellence
  • $141K to extend the Voluntary PreK new classes
  • $54K to expand the Miami beach Nurse Initiative to extend behavioral health services in all our schools
  • $80K for inclusionary aides to assist special needs children enrolled in City camps
  • Expanded dual enrollment for college credit at Miami Beach Senior High and Nautilus Middle School
Arts Enhancements
  • $500K enhancement for the Bass Museum to provide new programming
  • $125K for rain / shade cover and $102K for stage and sound system for North Shore Bandshell

Want More Budget Details?
                                                              Click  HERE to access the City Budget Documents

Click HERE to access the City's transparent OpenGov financial reporting tool

Click HERE to read the Miami Herald article on our new budget, which explains more about the stormwater increase.

Moving Miami Beach Forward Together!

Whether you are a Miami Beach resident or a business owner in our community, my office is here to help!  Our door is always open, so feel free to stop by or e-mail me at

Follow me on  Facebook  and  Twitter  to stay up-to-date on important initiatives throughout our community.
John E. Alemán | City of Miami Beach Commissioner | 786-459-7111 |