September 8, 2016

County taxes down one percent, budget up by $505 million

Courtesy of Broward County

Broward County Commissioners have agreed to cut the property tax rate by one-percent in fiscal year 2017, meaning that most homeowners with a homestead exemption will see no increase on the county portion of their property tax bill.

The total recommended budget for FY17 is $4.7 billion, which encompasses all tax supported and non-tax supported funds. Overall the total budget increases by $505 million with substantial funding provided for large projects at Port Everglades, the Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport and Water and Wastewater services.

The proposed one-percent reduction sets the FY2017 millage rate at 5.669. Based on this recommended budget and millage rate reduction, the average homestead property taxpayer will pay no increased County property taxes. For some homeowners, the market value change in their properties coupled with the reduced millage rate will determine the amount of property taxes they will pay.

The proposed tax-supported budget includes funding for several initiatives to improve and sustain quality county services and programs. Issues ranging from homelessness to beach renourishment are being addressed and funded in the FY17 budget. Homeless services receives almost $1.4 million in increased funding to support rapid rehousing, permanent supportive housing and housing provided by the homeless assistance centers. The Broward
Sheriff’s Office will receive a proposed $460.2 million in FY2017, half of all county property tax dollars received and a $24.2-million increase from the year before. Overall budgets for the Constitutional Offices and County Agencies (excluding the Property Appraiser’s Office) increase by 5.5 percent.

Money is also earmarked for the new public safety radio system, the opening of new County facilities such as the new Animal Care and Adoption Facility and Pompano Beach Library, increased staffing for the Medical Examiner’s Office, and economic development. Commissioners have also agreed to fund additional early voting hours.

The 2017 budget won’t be final until the public has a chance to comment. Public hearings are set for Sept. 15 and 27, beginning at 5:01 p.m. at the Governmental Center, 115 S. Andrews Ave., Room 422 in Fort Lauderdale. Final budget approval is expected after the second public hearing. The fiscal year 2017 budget takes effect on Oct. 1.

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