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Biscayne Park

Biscayne Park approves third consecutive tax hike

 

margarita.sweeting@gmail.com

Biscayne Park commissioners have raised the village’s tax rate for the third year in a row.

Residents will pay $9.70 per $1,000 in taxable home value for the 2013-2014 budget year, which starts Tuesday.

Residents paid $8.90 for 2011-2012 and $9.50 in 2012-2013.

Vice Mayor Bob Anderson and Commissioners Roxanna Ross and Barbara Watts voted for the new rate as well as for the 2013-2014 budget, while Mayor Noah Jacobs and Commissioner Bryan Cooper voted against it after the village’s final budget hearing on Tuesday.

“I still believe in a 9.5 budget,” said Jacobs. “But I know we all hope for what is best for the village.”

One of the biggest points of contention was still the state of the village’s contingency fund, which, even with the new budget, no one seemed satisfied with.

“Having $25,000 in a contingency fund is still cutting it close. That can go in a blink,” said Anderson.

“At 9.7 it’s not really an adequate contingency plan but it’s what we have to deal with,” added Ross.

Meanwhile, Jacobs said that for “years and years prior to this we didn’t plan for it at all, rather considered a more balanced approach. Everyone’s pocket still hasn’t rebounded from this economy and we need to consider the very real issues that people face every day.”

Even though the new tax rate brings the village even closer to the state cap of $10, most believe it was necessary because the village has few potential revenue sources. The village has a population of about 3,000 and is almost 100 percent residential, except for one church. The property tax provides more than 50 percent of the village’s revenues. Other than that, the village’s other sources include utility fees and a half cent sales tax.

Additional expenses in this budget include $15,000 for an election in November and $2,500 for an Art Mural Project at the Ed Burke Recreation Center.

The next commission meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Oct. 1 at the Ed Burke Recreation Center, 11400 NE Ninth Court.

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