Millage Lowered; $13 Million-plus in Budget Reserve

By Juan Carlos Bermudez….
As all know, one of the commitments made when we were elected (and the city incorporated) was to create a city from the ground up and provide better service without raising taxes. We have kept that commitment. Now we have even better news.

We’ve lowered our millage rate, the part of the taxing process we control up to 2.4376 percent. Our city budget workshop has concluded and two budget hearings, both public, are scheduled Sept. 14 and 28 at City Hall, 8300 NW 53 St. (first floor) at 5 p.m. All public comments will be taken. We once again have a balanced budget without cutting services while keeping a healthy $13 million+ in reserve. Our financial advisors and the city auditors have given the city finances excellent reviews. Our promise of building a city from the ground up without raising taxes has been kept.

In addition, we are now going to performance- based budgeting which ties the budget to direct employee and program results. In the past you have read how I have focused on performance-based measures, as I believe that government, like the private sector, needs to be run in an efficient manner with clear goals, periodic reviews and accountability.

CITT Litigation Moves Forward
The City, along with sister city, Miami Gardens, has filed a lawsuit, to get back our share of the CITT tax, better known as the “halfpenny transportation tax” that other municipalities receive. Doral, Miami Gardens and Cutler Bay do not receive these tax dollars which are used for transportation, despite our residents paying this tax. This is patently unfair and the equivalent of taxation without representation. Doral’s portion of the tax is over $1million each year, an amount that otherwise would be used for transportation projects such as road improvements or our trolley. I will keep you informed as we move forward on this issue.

Back to School
As the new school year starts, I congratulate all of our schools for the fine work our students, parents, teachers and administrators have accomplished. Once again, Doral achieved all “A” school ratings, the only Miami-Dade County that has had all of its schools (kindergarten through high school) rated “A” for four consecutive years. I hope that all of our students are ready to move forward with another successful school year in 2011-2012, continuing their education in a top-rated system to become outstanding citizens of Doral in the years ahead.

Fall 2011
Entering the fall of 2011, we have a number of classes, cultural and family events for our children and adult residents. Please check the city website at <www.cityofdoral. com > or: Channel 77 on your local cable system; and the newsletter you receive at home for schedules of programs. Doral Mayor Juan Carlos Bermudez can be reached at 305-593-6725 or via email at>.

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