Doral Budget Approved on First Hearing, Second Hearing will take place September 18th
The final phase of budget season for the City of Doral has begun. The Council approved unanimously the millage rate of 1.9000 mills and the budget for 2018-2019 on First Hearing, during a Special Council meeting that took place September 4th.
The amount of the budget is $ 72,833,250. It represents a reduction of 2.6% from last year and includes all adjustments to the submitted version that were requested during the open workshops that took place at the end of August.
Figures proposed are aligned with the priorities established by the Council during strategic planning sessions back in March. According to the budget document, those priorities are: “Communication; Smart City; Long-Term Financial Sustainability; Organizational Efficiency; Transportation; Workforce Housing; Quality of Place; Economic Diversification; and Public Safety.”
It has been an intensive process, where all departments of the City were involved, that produced a robust budget intended to continue providing exceptional services to residents and business owners with the resources available.
How is the Budget Funded?
Population and economic growth in Doral were taken into consideration while preparing the budget and Ad-Valorem taxes to provide the main source of revenue to fund the City budget, almost 70%.
The efforts of the Administration to maintain a high level of service with lean resources is commendable because out of the taxes that residents and business owners pay, only 10% comes back to the City to fund its services. Receiving that portion to administer our own resources is one of the advantages of being an incorporated community. Otherwise, local services would have been provided by the County, and our taxes diluted.
The other 90% of the property taxes levied goes on to pay for County operation, School Board, Water Management and other services provided by the County to all municipalities in the area. To learn more where your taxes go you can visit the Tax Estimator tool at the County Property Appraiser webpage.
Doral has been steadfast for the past years to maintain the millage rate (portion of ad-valorem tax that comes back to the City) at 1.9000 per each $1000 of property value. The estimate used when formulating the budget calculates that out of the ad-valorem taxes paid by the average household, only $416 will come back to Doral while the rest will go on to fund the County operation and agencies.
Those monies will be used for providing our community mainly with Public Safety (40%); Parks, recreation and culture (10%); Infrastructure (8%, although some of our main roads still depend on the County); General government (operation of the City, 28%); Planning, Zoning, Building and Code Compliance.
Additional sources of income to fund the budget, besides the Ad Valorem taxes, are the fees charged for licenses, permits and services, fines and other intergovernmental sources such as grants and other funds provided by the State and other entities.
The budget is balanced and an estimate of $39,203,687 goes to reserves, which is very important to ensure the future capacity of the City to continue maintaining levels of service and the existing infrastructure and to respond without affecting operation in case disaster recovery is needed.
Main Projects Covered in the Budget
With the vision of continue providing high-quality services to the community, the 2018-2019 budget for the City of Doral includes among other the following projects:
- Public Safety: hiring three school safety officers and funding for additional workforce “to provide community policing and enhance police visibility” and revitalizing the vehicle fleet.
- Recreation and Culture: operation of Doral Glades Park; maintenance of courts at Morgan Levy Park; an addition of greenspace to the park system.
- Infrastructure: continue improving sidewalks, roadway constructions, resurfacing and beautification projects. Improvement of citywide intersections.
- Stormwater improvements and canal stabilization
- Technology: security technology in trolleys, data analytics for citizens’ feedback and online payment facility for fines and administrative costs of code enforcement. Upgrade of computer devices to improve the efficiency of city functions. Implement smart systems solutions to enhance transparency of operations.
- Communication: expand advertising marketing and partnerships to strengthen business attraction. Improve communication campaigns to residents and business owners (mailing newsletter).
Residents and business owners can review the details of all items in the proposed budget at the City of Doral website. Any comments or concerns can be voiced during the Public Comments section of the Second Hearing meeting on September 18th.
Doral Budget Approved on First Hearing.-