By Jeniffer Viscarra, Vice Mayor
(Monday, October 10, 2022) – One of the primary responsibilities for elected officials in any municipality is to adopt a responsible budget. Sunny Isles Beach is no exception. We must be good stewards of the taxpayers’ dollars, as those funds are intended to serve you. Over the past 10 years, the budget has increased an average of 6.5% per year, with a high of 16.1% in 2012/2013 and a low of 0.8% in 2018/2019. In September, the Commission adopted the 2022/2023 budget, which increased by 4%.
The budget is essentially a balancing of all interests. Four percent is a conservative increase in the city’s trajectory, especially when you take into account our current inflation and the fact that we lowered the property tax (millage) rate. With this budget we should be able to continue on the current path to improvement.
For example, I have gotten great feedback on the increased police presence and enforcement. This was possible in part because we recently filled vacancies in the department. With proper staffing, training, and equipment (all of which costs money) our residents are seeing and liking the results.
While funding the police is important, it must also be balanced with our other priority of being fiscally responsible. The discussion is always about where to draw the line. The budget is your money. It needs to serve your quality of life while we simultaneously plan for the future and provide for your neighbors’ quality of life issues as well.
Everyone’s interests must be considered. It’s why your input is so important.