Same millage rate proposed during city budget workshop

The Coral Gables City Commission, during a July 27 budget workshop, gave preliminary approval for a tentative tax rate of 5.559 mills, which is unchanged from the current fiscal year.

The $183 million budget estimate includes $76 million in property tax revenue based on taxable values of $14.4 billion, an increase in values over the current fiscal year of 5.09 percent. Also included is $18 million in new or additional funding for investment in capital infrastructure.

These dollars will be used to fund repairs and improvements for public safety, parking and parks facilities, as well as improvements to the city’s roadway, transportation and utility systems. Moreover, this year’s capital improvement plan will continue the city’s commitment to replace essential equipment and motor vehicles.

Based on a median homestead assessed value of $411,425, Coral Gables taxpayers will only see an increase this year of approximately $64 in property taxes from last year.

This $18 million investment in capital infrastructure will bring the city’s Five-Year Capital Improvement Program to approximately $195 million. The plan is a comprehensive replacement of capital infrastructure that includes existing projects, new and additional projects for the upcoming fiscal year, as well as planned projects for fiscal years 2018 to 2021.

The city’s annual budget process starts March 1 of each year with budget training for staff followed by several months of planning, analysis and deliberation. Formal budget workshops were conducted in May for city commissioners to share their priorities with staff, and in July for staff to present the draft budget.

During the July 27 budget workshop, the commissioners viewed a video wherein department heads discussed the current fiscal year’s successes as well as their respective action plans in support of the city’s new Strategic Management Plan. The city commission also viewed staff’s presentation of the $183 million budget estimate and offered feedback for the final budget hearings in September.

The millage rate and budget will be finalized at the two public hearings scheduled for Sept. 13 and Sept. 27.

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