The Miami Springs City Council held its first workshop on Aug. 3 to discuss a proposed budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year, which starts Oct. 1.
“The total general fund budget is $15,523,785 of which $9,894,929, or 63 percent, represents employee salary and benefits,” said City Manager Ron Gorland, who oversees the three-square-mile bedroom community of 14,000 residents, according to Census data. “This leaves $5,628,856 to cover all other city needs.”
Along with salaries and benefits, the city is also budgeting the following on behalf of its employees:
▪ $1,069,084 for pension costs.
▪ $400,877 for worker’s compensation.
▪ $595,125 for “other” employee benefits.
The total for employee salaries, benefits, pensions, worker’s compensation and “other” benefits totals $11,477,248, which is 73.9 percent of the proposed budget.
The city also lists the following “assumptions” in its proposed budget:
▪ $15,529 for a “slight increase in net staff that includes salary increases.”
▪ $101,168 toward a 4 percent bonus “for the 59 general employees earning under $50,000.”
Sixty-one employees currently each earn more than $70,000 a year in salary and benefits, according to records obtained last week by the Miami Herald through a public records request. Thirty employees, records show, earn in excess of $100,000 a year.
The highest-paid employees, in total salary and benefits, include:
▪ City Manager Ron Gorland, $194,443.
▪ Finance Director William Alonso, $166,152.
▪ Police Chief Armando Guzman, $139,446.
The city currently has 111 full-time employees, according to personnel records. The list does not include City Attorney Jan Seiden, who is paid monthly, and received $13,493 for work performed in June.
Some of the other expenses proposed by the city include:
▪ $45,000 for the city’s lobbyist.
▪ $269,077 for golf course losses.
▪ $91,775 to run the new aquatic facility between June and September 2016.
▪ $10,000 for the city’s 90th birthday party.
▪ $35,000 for the Curtiss Mansion.
▪ $6,000 for the historic museum’s storage costs.
Some “miscellaneous” considerations include:
▪ $2,400 to develop a city Facebook page.
▪ $11,300 for cloud storage.
▪ $8,500 for city website upgrades.
The City Council is proposing a tax rate of $7.671 per $1,000 of assessed property value; the same as this year’s rate.
Impact on taxpayers
Under the proposed tax rate, the owner of a median home valued at about $179,690 (taken from the median assessed value from the property appraiser) would pay about $1,380 in property taxes.
This marks no change from last year, assuming 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 city will likely not raise that rate as the budget season goes on, but it can be lowered or remain the same.
Residents are invited to speak at the city’s first budget hearing on Sept. 14 at City Hall, 201 Westward Dr. A second budget hearing is scheduled for Sept. 28.
Check your mailbox
Homeowners will receive a letter called a “TRIM notice” this month listing their proposed tax rate and hearing dates. The letter will also include proposed tax rates for the county, school board and other local agencies.
A copy of Miami Springs’ 2015-16 proposed budget workbook can be viewed at http://1.usa.gov/1DZv44G.