Proposed city budget again calls for lowering property taxes
The proposed municipal budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year, which starts on Oct. 1, was recently released to the Coral Gables City Commission and the public by City Manager Pat Salerno.
The budget calls for a property tax millage rate reduction from the current rate of 5.869 to a new rate of 5.669. The rate represents a tax of $5.669 per $1,000 of assessed property value.
This would mean an annual tax reduction in 2012-13 of approximately $100 for the owner of a home assessed at $550,000 (the average assessed value in Coral Gables) after deducting the $50,000 maximum homestead exemption.
Under the proposed budget, the city would be reducing property tax revenues collected by approximately $1.5 million, the city stated in a July 18 press release. This follows a reduction in the millage rate a year ago from 6.072 to 5.869.
According to the city, this would also be the first time in more than 35 years that Coral Gables has reduced property tax revenues for three consecutive years.
“Even during these challenging economic times, the proposed budget keeps us on the right path towards continuing to reduce taxes while providing quality services,” said Mayor Jim Cason.
The city’s workforce would remain the same at 791 full-time employees. The city said that’s fewer employees than it has had in at least the past two decades.
Meanwhile, the capital improvement program is budgeted at approximately $3 million. It includes funds for repairs/improvements to fire stations and the public safety building, as well as the replacement of playground equipment, and the purchase of green space.
“We will make the community proud of how our continued dedication to the heritage and tradition of Coral Gables adds value to our citizens; that we are an organization residents can trust and believe in, and one they can admire for the good that we do and the future direction towards which we steer,” Mr. Salerno stated in his budget transmittal message to the mayor and city commissioners.
There will be two public hearings in September before the final budget is adopted.