By Dana Robin Goldman, Mayor
(August 3, 2022) – Every year the City adopts a Comprehensive Budget & Five Year Capital Improvement Program for the upcoming fiscal year. Our fiscal year begins October 1, but the preparation and work begins much earlier.
We commence budget season in April and every department and division is involved in the process. The budget is driven first and foremost by you – our residents. All members of the Commission prepare their top priorities for the budget based on what we learn from speaking with and listening to the citizens of Sunny Isles Beach. Each Commissioner meets with the City Manager and department heads to direct staff on these priorities. In the months to follow, departments work on putting their budgets together. The goal is always to keep costs low without sacrificing the high level of service and quality the City is known for.
The budget is one of the City’s most important annual responsibilities as it identifies and prioritizes projects for the upcoming fiscal year. Though it may seem intimidating at 300+ pages, the budget provides a blueprint for departments as they navigate daily and long-term projects throughout the year.
As in previous years, the Commission directed City administration to reduce the millage rate, but in doing so, continue to expand services and programs for residents. In a nutshell, doing more with less. The millage rate is how the City’s property taxes are determined. Breaking it down, the millage rate is one tenth of a percent, which equates to $1 in taxes for every $1,000 in home value. Reducing the millage rate by .1 saves a homeowner $1 for every $1,000 in property value. To calculate property tax, you multiply the total taxable value of the property by the millage rate. As an example, a property valued at $200,000 with a millage rate of 2.1 would pay $420 in property tax to the city (e.g., 200,000 x .0021 = 420). Whereas that same property with a millage rate of 2.0, our proposed millage rate, will pay $400 in property tax to the city. The lower the millage rate, the lower your property taxes. The City aims to lower the millage rate again this year, while maintaining and improving upon our offerings.
The budget is a City responsibility that each and every department and division plays a significant role. I want to especially recognize the Finance Department, led by Finance Director Tiffany Neely, for their hard work and long hours dedicated to the budget process. It is no simple or easy feat putting together the budget. The Finance Department reviews every number and calculation down to the penny with focus and precision.
This month we will hold a budget workshop where the Commission will review and discuss the budget and capital improvement program for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. In September, we will host two Special City Commission Meetings to review and formally adopt the proposed budget. I invite you to attend or watch online to gain a better understanding of how the budget is put together and approved. More details will be posted on sibfl.net/events and our social media pages as well as sent via email in the coming weeks.