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.”