Miami Shores residents will see their property tax rates remain flat if the village council approves a preliminary 2015-’16 budget.
Village Manager Tom Benton is proposing a $7.90 tax rate for every $1,000 of assessed property value, a slight decrease compared to the $8 tax rate of the previous year.
Under the proposed rate, the owner of a median house valued at about $193,300 would pay $1,527 in property taxes.
This marks a $19 decrease from last year, assuming that the owner qualified for the standard homestead exemption and the home’s assessed value increased by 0.8 percent, the maximum allowed by law this year for an owner-occupied home. The village will likely not raise that rate any higher as the budget season goes on.
Impact on services
The projected total spending for the 2015-’16 budget is $14,655,878, compared to last year’s $13,822,000.
The online proposed budget states the employee health insurance category is subject to increase by 40 percent, an approximate $225,000 increase over the last fiscal year.
“In previous years Miami Shores Village has been a healthy workforce,” said Benton. “Unfortunately we’ve had more claims filed this year, and with higher loss runs, your rate naturally increases.”
According to Benton, there will be no service cuts this year.
“Overall I think it’s a good budget,” Benton said. “We have a high amount of services in the village, and it’s going to stay that way.”
Village Mayor Alice Burch says her long-term goals include setting a budget for downtown redevelopment and succession planning.
“When moving forward we will for sure be needing to plan carefully,” Burch said. “It’s very important to set goals in helping aid and build out an older community and make it more bike friendly. It’s a process, but the improvements that you make are also in traffic calming and making your community more amendable in walking and biking safety — those two are linked. So to put together a budget for a more walkable and bike-friendly community it has to be in the long term, it can’t be done at once.”
Benton says the village plans to hire three new village employees. The positions include a fourth building permit clerk, an assistant police chef, and an assistant public works director, said to succeed the current public works director, Scott Davis, whom indicated he has retirement plans within the next two to three years.
“We have a lot of employees that have been with us for a long time and they’re not going to stay with us forever. We have to plan for that,” Burch said.
If approved, the 2015-’16 budget takes effect Oct. 1. The first and second budget hearings are set for 6:30 p.m. Sept. 8 and Sept. 22 at the Village’s Community Center at 9617 Park Dr..
Residents can view the proposed 2015-16 budget online at miamishoresvillage.com/village-department/finance.