|Posted by Anne Siren on September 7, 2012 at 2:50 PM|
Pompano Beach - Although the economy is slowly improving, the city administrators have proposed a five percent increase in the property tax rate to meet a budget that outpaced inflation and grew more than city officials expected.
Commissioners will hold the first of two public hearings on the proposed $219 million 2012-2013 budget on Wednesday, Sept. 12 at 5:30 p.m. in the commission chambers at city hall, 100 W. Atlantic Blvd..
According to Budget Director Brian Donovan, city officials thought expenses would grow by roughly three percent next year. The difference, he said, can be blamed on the Broward Sheriff’s Office raising the price of police service by $1.6 million, an increase of about four percent. Pompano officials had thought it would be within the three percent number.
“Water and sewer saw slight increases [in cost],” Donovan said. “But the biggest driver of the budget is public safety - it’s not a cheap service.”
The budget proposal calls for an increase in the millage rate from 5.2027 mills per $1,000 to 5.4700 mills per $1,000.
Residential fire service assessments will increase by $11 in order to replace a fire station in Cresthaven, Donovan said. The old fire station was converted from a civic center when the area was annexed to Pompano Beach more than a decade ago.
City Commissioner Barry Dockswell voted against the last two city annual budgets because they included what he considered to be unnecessary increases. Dockswell plans to vote against this one too.
“We’d be doing a better job for our constituents if we managed to keep services high and not raise the millage rate at the same time,” Dockswell said.