Second Budget Hearing Recap
September 29, 2023
This past Wednesday night, Palmetto Bay’s Mayor and Council held their Second Budget Hearing of the year to cast the final vote on two important ordinances for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024: one to set the millage rate, and the other to approve the Village's annual budget. Both items were approved on first reading at the First Budget Hearing on September 11. Residents attended in person and online to watch the proceedings and give comments.

Village Manager Nick Marano began with a presentation that gave a general overview of the budget and also focused on its highlights, which included:

  • Budget built with a 2.35 millage rate
  • General Fund Assigned/Unassigned Fund Balances remain roughly the same (our “reserves”)
  • FY 2023-24 is last year for ARPA (American Recovery Plan Act) funding
  • This budget leverages remaining ARPA funding and FY 2023 Budget Surplus Impact Fees for approximately $11 million in one-time investments including:
  1. $4.5 million total for Coral Reef Park Recreation Building (+$3.3 million)
  2. $2.5 million total for Veterans’ Park Phase 1 (+$500,000)
  3. $1.2 million for Palmetto Bay Park Pickleball Center Phase 1
  4. $946,036 for design of three additional sub-basins
  • A net reduction of three full-time employees from 71 to 68 while also adding:
  1. An additional Vactor Truck driver/operator
  2. An additional tree maintenance worker
  • Three Complete Street projects (SW 174 St, SW 148 St, & SW 92 Ave)
  • Retention/recruitment incentives:
  1. 4% COLA (up from 3% in FY 23)
  2. Florida Retirement System (FRS) for current and future employees
  3. Increase of max Village Health Care payment from $1,150 to $1,350 per employee
  • Building fund projected to generate a small surplus by the end of FY 2024
The first item on the agenda was to set the millage rate, which is the amount of property value used to calculate local property taxes. Council lowered Palmetto Bay’s millage rate to 2.35 in FY 2023 and recommended maintaining the same rate for FY 2024. Manager Marano reminded listeners that this rate is lower than most municipalities in Miami-Dade County, and that even with a projected increase in the median taxable home value of homesteaded properties for FY 2024, Village residents will only pay an average annual increase of $33 on their property taxes. The Manager also pointed out that since 2004, Palmetto Bay’s millage rate has always been between 2.20 and 2.44, so the current millage rate falls within the range that has served the Village well.

While discussing the budget’s proposed revenues and expenditures, Manager Marano reemphasized that the bulk of the Village’s revenue comes from ad-valorem taxes (45%) and intergovernmental revenue, or sales tax (19%), while the bulk of Palmetto Bay’s expenditures go towards Police Services (49%) and Parks & Recreation (19%).

As he listed some of the projects earmarked for funding in the upcoming fiscal year, the Manager noted that some items, such as the Coral Reef Recreation Building and Veterans’ Park, would make a positive and long-lasting impact on the community. “We’re going to do a lot with this revenue fund in FY 2024,” he said, “but we’re going to have some major projects that get funded from it.”

Manager Marano also pointed out that the Total Fund Balance, or Village reserves, for the proposed FY 2024 budget was just over $10 million. “That means the Village has roughly six months’ worth of revenue in the bank,” he explained. “That’s actually a very healthy number. The Government Finance Officer Association recommends a three-month balance, so that’s double the recommendation.”

The ordinance to keep the millage rate at 2.35 mills and the ordinance approving the budget for FY 2024 were both passed by Council on second reading, meaning both were officially adopted for the new fiscal year, which starts on October 1, 2023 and runs through September 30, 2024.

Vice Mayor Leanne Tellam was enthusiastic about the updates and improvements the new budget will bring. “With this budget, we are building legacy,” she said. “It’s exciting to me and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”
Mayor Karyn Cunningham complimented Manager Marano on keeping both Council and residents informed and involved while the new budget was crafted, saying, “You have done a remarkable job of bringing in at each step numbers, facts, where we were, where we’re headed, and what the budget this year will look like.” She added, “Thomas Edison said that good fortune is what happens when opportunity meets planning, and you have really brought the planning to meet with the opportunity.”

The Mayor finished her remarks by thanking the Manager and the Village Directors for their hard work in compiling the budget.

The adopted budget book will be posted on the Village's official website upon completion.
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