The Longboat Key Finance Committee reported green arrows pointing up for three key measures of fiscal health Friday, Sept. 9.
Green arrows on the budget report indicate “favorable outcomes are expected.”
“I like the green arrows,” commented Chairman Irwin Pastor.
“Yes, green is good,” said Finance Director Susan Smith, who presented the report.
The green arrows indicate:
• General Fund revenues exceeded estimates by $529,570 for fiscal year 2015-16. Revenues were increased by the reimbursement for pre-referendum costs associated with undergrounding and collections of delinquent taxes.
• General Fund expenditures are estimated to come in at $450,027 less than budgeted. Most of the decrease came via cutbacks in general service spending, according to Smith’s report.
• The General Fund balance will increase to $5,311,093 as revenues top payouts by $132,357.
Fourth-quarter fiscal year General Fund spending rose $25,666 since town recommendations made Aug. 1, according to the report.
The General Fund total spending budget for next fiscal year beginning Sept. 30 is $15,762,573.
Expected General Fund spending outlines the true nature of Longboat Key government, said Town Manager Dave Bullock.
“This shows we’re a service company basically,” he said Monday at a millage rate and budget adoption public hearing. The 2016-17 budget of $15,762,573 was unanimously passed later that night during a regular commission meeting.
Public safety spending is projected to consume 61 percent of the General Fund budget at nearly $9.65 million.
General government spending of $4.525 million (29%) is projected. Fiscal year 2016-17 beach capital projects will cost $18.9 million. Bonds were issued to fund this expense.
For street improvements, Longboat Key plans to spend $420,000, including $300,000 for the sidewalk west of Gulf of Mexico Drive, $50,000 for a GMD corridor plan, $40,000 for Dream Island Road stormwater crossing and $30,000 for the culvert on Broadway.
The Canal Dredging Fund has $510,000, including $350,000 for the program and $160,000 for the study.
The Land Acquisition Fund for the Town Center is budgeted at $200,000.
The proposed operating millage of 2.1144 is lower than last year’s millage rate of 2.13, according to information presented Monday, Sept. 12, at the public hearing and later at the commission meeting.
The millage rate represents the amount per $1,000 of assessed property value, according to Investopedia. It is used to calculate the amount of property tax. One mill is equal to $1 in property tax, which is levied per every $1,000 of a property's determined taxable value.
The 2.038 rollback rate, exclusive of construction, is the level that would provide the same amount of property tax revenues as the previous year because of higher assessed values.
“Our millage is the second-lowest (of surrounding communities),” Bullock said. “This, obviously, has a lot to do with property values.”