Hallandale Beach residents might see a lower tax rate for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, but many could expect to pay the same or more because of rising property assessments.
At the city’s first budget hearing Wednesday, the commission gave initial approval — by a 3-1 vote — to setting the tax rate at $5.67 per $1,000 of taxable assessed property value.
For a home assessed at $200,000, taking the standard $50,000 homestead exemption, the city tax bill would be about $850. County, school, hospital and other levies are additional.
The city’s tax rate, which is slightly lower than this year’s $5.90, will generate just under $21 million in revenue — the same as this year.
Taxpayers will, however, see an increase of $20 on their residential fire fee bill, bringing the annual rate to $145.
The $900,000 in additional revenue generated by the increase will go toward an updated fire station.
The city expects to use about $6.5 million from its reserves to help balance the budget — which includes increases for the city’s new lifeguard program.
City spokesman Peter Dobens said Thursday that even with using the reserves, the city expects to have $21.8 million in its fund by the end of the next fiscal year, above what is considered healthy for the city.
Commissioner Keith London, who cast the single vote against the tax rate, fire fee and budget, said Thursday he consistently votes against the budget.
“There is no plan, there is no prioritization of our money,” said London, who is running against incumbent Joy Cooper for mayor in the November election. “There are just a lot of projects.”
Residents will have second chance to comment on the budget before the City Commission makes it and the tax rate final.
That public hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. Sept. 24.