Dear Broward County Residents,
I am honored to serve as your County Commissioner, representing our coastal communities from Deerfield Beach to Fort Lauderdale and all of the amazing communities in between. Here are some recent highlights from around Broward County:
Broward County Budget Update
The Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Broward County recommended budget will be discussed at the August 29th Final Budget Workshop. The total budget for FY18 is $4.83 billion, which encompasses all tax-supported and non-tax supported funds. The overall total budget increases by $48.5 million, with operation budgets higher by $128.7 million, debt services relatively unchanged and capital budgets $81.4 million lower than the budget for FY17. The tax roll for FY18 increases by 8.8 percent compared to the roll used for the adopted FY17 budget. The County has recommended a budget reserves of 11 million (about 1 percent of recurring General Fund revenues) in FY18 due to the potential reduction of $32 million in property tax revenues starting in FY20 if the legislative constitutional amendment to expand the homestead exemption passes in the fall of 2018.
Homestead properties are expected to see increases in tax bills of 2.1 percent. Therefore, median valued homestead property owners will see an increase for FY17 - FY18 of $18. Based on the percent change in the average taxable value for all residential properties, other property owners will see an increase of $89. Last year in FY2017, I spearheaded a millage rate decrease and the County Commission was able to reduce the millage rate by 1 percent (from 5.723 in FY2016 to 5.669) which provided property tax relief with no increase for homestead residents with a home valued at the median property value.
As your County Commissioner, I will continue to advocate for a decrease of the millage rate in order to cut your taxes and provide financial relief. It will require a $9.5 million reduction from property-tax supported budgets to reduce the millage rate by 1 percent, which will still support the necessary government services for the community. Unfortunately, my colleagues have not supported this initiative for FY18. However, you will have two opportunities to make your voices heard. The first Public Budget Hearing is scheduled for September 14th at 5:01PM and the second Public Budget Hearing is scheduled for September 26th at 5:01PM at the Broward County Governmental Center in the Commission Chambers, Room 422.
For more information on Broward County’s Budget, please visit Office of Management and Budget.
Port Everglades Trade Numbers
This year’s edition of WorldCity’s Port Everglades Trade Numbers provided interesting facts and figures about how Port Everglades (PEV) ranks nationally, the commodities traded through the port, imports and exports and where goods are coming from and going to. While this publication is completely independent, it does examine international trade through Broward County’s PEV based on data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection in calendar year 2016.
According to the publication, Broward County’s Port Everglades’ trade with the world totaled $22.14 billion in 2016. With exports of $11.70 billion and imports of $10.44 billion, PEV registered a $1.27 billion surplus its ninth year in a row. Although the port’s trade was down 12.19 percent in 2016, PEVs’ top 19 exports topped $100 million in value with the top outbound shipments, printers, topping $400 million. The publication also stated that while we are halfway through 2017, PEVs’ trade industry is shaping up to have a rebound year with a 2.32 percent increase in the port’s trade.
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International
|British Airways Inaugural Flight|
Broward’s Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) continues to grow with the addition of British Airways’ inaugural flight from London’s Gatwick Airport this past July. This is the second international carrier to offer nonstop flights between Fort Lauderdale and London. Additional services coming to FLL include: Norwegian with flights to Barcelona in August and Martinique in October, JetBlue and Delta with flights to Salt Lake City in November and Allegiant with flights to Milwaukee and Norfolk in November.
Broward County’s FLL is the fastest growing large hub airport in the country. The total traffic for May 2017 was 2,629,156, which is up 9.9 percent over May 2016. Furthermore, domestic traffic was up 8.2 percent and international traffic was up 16.9 percent. May was the 38th consecutive month of growth in total traffic. It was also the 10th consecutive month of double digit growth in international passenger traffic. January to May 2017 traffic was up 11 percent.
New AlertBroward Emergency Notification System
Broward County has activated a new emergency notification system called AlertBroward. This system enables the County to contact residents within seconds so they can receive important information about an emergency. Residents with landlines listed in the Yellow or White Pages have been automatically subscribed to alerts by phone, but AlertBroward also allows members of the public to self-register and provide additional contact information. Unlisted numbers are not provided. Residents are encouraged to register to begin receiving alerts. Sign up is quick, easy and secure on the AlertBroward website.
County Wide Arts Challenge for High
Broward residents in grades 9-12 who attend public, private or home school are eligible to submit work for the Mayor's Art Challenge. All Broward County Commissioners will select one first place winner and one runner up from each of the nine districts in the County. The deadline for students to submit their application is Friday, September 8th and the application can be found on the Cultural Division’s Calls-for-Artists page. Students will need to submit their application with digital images of the artwork (up to two entries), a parental release form and indicate their County Commission District to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Resident's Guide to Government provides a convenient resource to help people stay connected to their local government. It includes contact information for County officials and Federal, State, and local agencies. Visitors can subscribe to eNews and social media sites. Please sign up at Broward.org/District4 to receive email updates from our office. If there is anything that we can do to assist you with your vision for a better Broward, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 954-357-7004 or by email at email@example.com.
As always, it is my honor and privilege to serve you.