Town maintains 2.3518 tax rate with revenue for capital items

Community Wednesday, August 5, 2015


The Miami Lakes Town Council unanimously voted to keep the same rate of 2.3518 for property taxes for next year, which is expected to generate about $6 million in revenues.

At the July 21 regular meeting, Town Manager Alex Rey indicated the rate, along with other revenues, gives Miami Lakes enough budget money to complete some capital improvement projects and the lawsuit settlement with Mayor Michael Pizzi, whose attorneys are requesting legal fees for their services for the Supreme Court lawsuit against Governor Rick Scott, circuit court trail and the appeals court that ultimately returned him to political office.  

The town’s 2014-2015 budget has a beginning fund balance of $4.7 million, with prior year carryover funds estimated at $1.3 million for the parks redevelopment program ($721,000), litigation related expenses ($367,925) and other project related expenses ($289,378), reducing the beginning fund balance to $3.4 million.

At the end of 2015, the town’s operations are estimated to result in a surplus of about $400,000, increasing the fund balance to $3.8 million.

With the expected reimbursement to FEMA for hurricane related disallowance ($750,000) the estimated unassigned fund balance is $3 million. 

Other projected revenues for the town for next year include $4.5 million for intergovernmental revenues, $2.7 million for utility service, $1.2 million for building permits and fees, and $1.2 million in franchise fees.

Miami-Dade police services constitute the bulk of the town’s expenditures, as Miami Lakes budgeted $7.3 million, an increase of $282,283 due to an increase in the law enforcement health insurance package and pension.   

The budget also calls for funding of the new 4,000-square-foot Picnic Park East Youth Center, which should be completed in September.

The expenses include $112,700 for operations and an additional $7,000 for in-house programming, with estimated revenue of $30,000 in programming fees.

The town has budgeted $70,000 for maintenance services for the new 5,000-square-foot Miami Lakes Optimist clubhouse at Miami Lakes Optimist Park. Rey said the building should be finished during the first quarter of 2016.

Miami Lakes budgeted $250,000 for the Pizzi’s legal settlement, far less than what his attorneys are reportedly asking for, which is $750,000.

The town’s insurance company could pay for the legal fees to help Miami Lakes save some of the money, Rey said.

Miami Lakes also budgeted $20,000 to help underwrite the senior classes at the Mary Collins Community Center, while Miami-Dade Public Schools will also seek funding to keep the classes operating for the next fiscal year.

The town scheduled the first budget hearing for 5:01 p.m. on Tuesday, September 10, and the second hearing scheduled for 6 p.m. on Monday, September 28, at Miami Lakes Town Hall, 6601 Main Street.