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Longboat Key Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018 1 year ago

Longboat releases recommended budget

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The recommended budget provides for a $100,000 drop from preliminary expenditure estimates.
by: Bret Hauff Staff Writer

The town of Longboat Key is preparing to spend $16,551,068 this upcoming fiscal year, down about $100,000 from previous estimates of the town’s budget, according to a recommended budget released Wednesday.

The approximately $100,000 difference in the recommended budget comes from a drop in general service funds, which includes wages, pension, insurance and a variety of personnel services. The town reduced its health insurance based on the 4% renewal rate, saving $76,562.

Other than that difference, the recommended budget is a near photocopy of the preliminary fiscal plan last updated in June. This year's budget represents a 1.4% increase in spending over this year's financial priorities. 

The 2018-19 budget proposal keeps tax rates flat at 2.1144 mills, although increasing property values boosted town income by $461,129.

While the town is taking in more money than it did last year, it still needs to use $42,832 of its fund balance, or savings, to balance the budget. With that money taken from the fund balance, the town has 153 operating days worth of money in its savings.

The budget also allocated $1.35 million to economic uncertainty, a move Town Manager Tom Harmer suggested in preparation for a potential economic downswing.

“In summary, the 2019 Town of Longboat Key Budget is sound with investments to keep our economy stable, protect our natural environment and keep our infrastructure in good repair,” Harmer wrote in his message to Town Commissioners.

The next benchmark for the town budget is a 5:01 p.m. first reading and public hearing on Sept. 11. A second reading and adoption date is set for 5:01 p.m. Sept. 24.

I’m a Longboat Key Staff Reporter. I write stories about how decisions and events affect the island, its leaders and its citizens. I received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Emerson College, where I wrote for The Boston Globe. Reach me at 941-366-3468 ext. 333.

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