The Longboat Key Town Commission received a preliminary 2010-11 budget Tuesday, June 1 that includes no budget deficit, as long as the Town Commission approves the third consecutive proposed millage increase in 10 years to keep the budget flat.
Town Manager Bruce St. Denis proposes a 13.6% millage increase, suggesting the town consider raising the millage rate from 1.5 mills to 1.7042 mills.
The new budget, including capital spending, totals $14,494,267 — up 4.83% from the $13,826,263 budget in the current fiscal year. That’s a reversal from last year’s 2009-10 fiscal year preliminary budget, which showed a 3.92% decrease in total spending.
The budget shows the town beginning the fiscal year Oct. 1 with a balance of $5.1 million, a decrease of 6.81%, or down $374,940 from the previous year.
The preliminary operating budget forecasts a decrease in revenues, including transfers, by 2.15% and a 4.83% expenditure increase, including capital, when compared to the current fiscal year. That’s also a reversal from last year’s preliminary budget, which showed a 3.92% expenditure decrease.
Overall, operating expenses, including personnel costs, have increased by $1.15 million, or 8.71%, in the 2010-11 preliminary budget when compared to this year’s budget. Last year’s preliminary budget showed a 4.75% decrease in operating expenses.
For Longboat Key taxpayers, the town administration is suggesting the Town Commission balance the budget by voting to raise the millage rate 13.6% to 1.7042 mills.
St. Denis is asking the Town Commission to consider adopting the tentative rollback millage rate of 1.6537 mills to offset pension costs, plus consider raising the millage an additional 0.0505 to fund two additional police-officer positions. (One mill is equal to $1 for every $1,000 of assessed valuation.)
The millage, St. Denis reports, needs to be raised to maintain the town’s current level of service in a budget year that includes another 10% average decline in island property values.
If adopted, the increased millage would mark the third time in 10 years the Town Commission has increased the town’s property-tax rates.
Anticipating a loss in revenues for the third year in a row, St. Denis states in his budget message that the fiscal year 2010-11 budget “has been prepared as conservatively as possible.”
Approximately $965,619 will be taken from the general fund reserves to pay for additional pension contributions, and $235,000 is needed to pay for two police positions.
The commission will hold its second of several budget workshops at 2 p.m. Tuesday, June 8, at Town Hall, 501 Bay Isles Road.
To view the Operating Budget Variance Report, click here.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at email@example.com
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