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 the beautiful cities, towns and villages in between. Here are some recent highlights from around Broward County:
Broward County FY19 Recommended Budget
It’s that time of year again! In September, the Broward County Board of Commissioners will set the County-levied millage rate. Initial discussions were held in March of this year which were followed by a series of workshops and will culminate with two public hearings in September. The 1st Public Budget Hearing is September 13th and the 2nd is September 25th, both at 5:01PM. Every year, the Office of Budget and Management has the incredible task of analyzing the estimated property tax roll that is received from the Broward County Property Appraiser. The County Administrator then uses this information to develop the Operating and Capital Budget recommendations. The budget recommendations are provided to the Board of County Commissioners in July and discussed at workshops throughout August. Finally, in September two public meetings are held that give Broward County residents an opportunity to provide their comments regarding any aspect of the budget. Once the budget is finalized and approved, the new fiscal year will begin October 2018.
The total proposed budget for FY19 is $4.83 billion, which is slightly lower than FY18 by $75.1 million and incorporates all tax-supported and non-tax supported funds. Homestead properties are expected to see increases in tax bills of 2.1 percent due to the change in assessed value, but residents will not see an increase in their County-levied millage rate for FY19. The FY19 recommended budget sets the total millage rate at 5.6690, the same as FY 18. The charts below provide a more detailed example of the changes you will see in your property tax bill, based on the FY19 total millage rate of 5.6690.
Homestead Property with “Save Our Homes” Differential
Based on the State-mandated 2.1 percent maximum increase in assessed value
|Change FY18 to FY19
Other Residential Properties
Based on the percent change in the average taxable value for all residential properties
|Change FY18 to FY19
Residents should be aware of several important aspects of this budget as it reflects some of the County Commission and communities’ priorities. General Fund operating budgets (Constitutional Officers and County Agencies) increase by $51.1 million, or about 4.1 percent of the Revised FY18 Budget. The General Fund budget includes a 4.6 percent increase to the Broward Sheriff’s Office budget, a portion of which provides for Risk Protection Officers to implement the new state law designed to prevent high-risk individuals from harming themselves, or others from accessing firearms. Additional funds are allocated as additional resources to support fixed-route and paratransit services ($9.49 million), Elderly Homeless Prevention ($.162 million), to address homelessness through a private public partnership ($1.2 million), cultural non-profit funding ($.500 million), increase the County’s living wage for contract and County employees by 5 percent to $12.99 per hour ($1.2 million), and other community initiatives ($.9 million). The FY19 recommended budget also increases reserves to prepare for the impact of an additional Homestead Exemption on the November 2018 ballot (if approved by voters) and to increase funding for emergencies to cover shelter operating expenses and critical supplies.
Hurricane Season Reminder
We are in the middle of this year’s hurricane season and if you have not been preparing, it is a good time to begin. My June LaMarca Letter provides important information and links to help you get ready for any hurricane that comes our way.
One of the first steps of preparing is knowing if you live in an evacuation zone. Below is the Emergency Evacuation Map to help you determine if you are in a zone.
- ■ PLAN A Evacuation - Areas east of Intercoastal Waterway Typically a Category 1-2 hurricane
- ■ PLAN B Evacuation - Areas east of U.S. 1 (Federal Highway) Typically a Category 3 or higher hurricane
Persons located in low lying areas or beside tidal bodies of water should seek shelter elsewhere if conditions warrant. ALL mobile home residents must evacuate in PLAN A and PLAN B and may be ordered to evacuate if tropical storm conditions warrant.
Broward County Animal Care Expands Hours
The Broward County Animal Care and Adoption Center has expanded their weekend hours for the public. The Adoption Center is now open from 11AM to 6PM on Saturdays and Sunday. The extended weekend hours give residents more time to visit the shelter to adopt, volunteer, or foster a pet. Residents will also be able to purchase a Broward County license tag, drop off a lost pet, or be reunited with their dog or cat. For more information please visit Broward.org/Animal.
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.