County budget, higher taxes have you fuming? Blow off some steam at commissioners meeting!

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The South Florida Tea Party encourages citizens to add their input about the upcoming county budget at the Palm Beach County Board of Commissioners meeting Sept. 21, at which officials will hold a public hearing to discuss their budget proposal for FY 2010.

“State law requires that two public hearings be held to discuss a budget prior to adoption,” the board of commissioners Web site states. The board’s Sept. 8 meeting was the public’s first opportunity to voice concerns about the budget; citizens will have their last chance to be heard Sept. 21 at 6 p.m.

According to a hearing agenda from the county’s Sept 8 meeting, the commissioners propose a FY 2010 budget of $4,101,758,250 — an increase from this year’s $3,999,428,421 budget.

A county expense report indicates the budget proposal is also a 48.3 percent increase from last year’s actual budget.

The recent hearing agenda estimated the FY 2010 net budget at $3.49 billion. “The Net Budget subtracts Internal Service Charges, transfers of money from one fund to another (Interfund Transfers), and payments from one department to another for services rendered, from the total Gross Budget,” according to the agenda. “These reductions from the total Gross Budget are considered double-counted because they do not represent money coming into the County budget as a revenue or leaving the County budget as expense.”

Taking up the bulk of the budget, at 38.3 percent, is the fund budget, which “represents carryover funds from the prior fiscal year,” the agenda reads. “A major component of fund balances are reserves, which include funds set aside for future capital projects.”

Overall operating costs are the most expensive expenditure, totaling $1.02 billion, a graph in the agenda shows. Of all county initiatives, public safety efforts are allocated the most funds, at $861.5 million, while capitol projects receive the most money of any fund group, at $1.18 billion, according to the agenda.

Among the budget revenues slated for increases over FY 2009 are the sheriff and judicial departments, while nondepartmental operations and capital projects were among the decreases, the agenda reads. The amount over this year’s total countywide ad valorem revenue — which includes the “General Fund, County Transportation Trust Fund, Sales Tax Fund and the Utility Tax – Electricity Fund” — is $8,153,561, the agenda says.

What: Palm Beach County Board of Commissioners meeting.

When: Sept. 21, at 6 p.m.

Where: The sixth floor of the Governmental Center, 301 N. Olive Avenue, West Palm Beach.

For more information: Click here for budgeted FY 2010 expenses and here for budgeted FY 2010 revenues (both last updated Aug. 26). Read more county budget information here.

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