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Hallandale Beach residents likely will pay more in taxes

With two new parks facilities and a push to increase code enforcement and maintenance, Hallandale Beach will have a lot of expenses in the coming year.

And most residents can expect to pay a little bit more in taxes to pay for it all.

So far, the City Commission is leaning toward keeping the tax rate the same as it was this year — $5.90 per $1,000 of assessed property — but with property values going up, that amounts to homeowners paying more.

For a home valued at $200,000, taking the standard $50,000 homestead exemption, the tax bill would be $885, not including school and other taxes.

The city expects to generate about $21.5 million in the 2012-2013 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. That’s up $700,000, or 3.37 percent, from this year.

“We would like [the tax rate] to be lower, but we have a lot of expenses this year,” said Mayor Joy Cooper after the commission tentatively approved the tax rate this week. “I don’t want to adversely affect our services.”

Costs are up because two new facilities, a city marina and Foster Park will come online this year, said City Manager Renee Crichton. Running the park will up costs for staff and maintenance, she said.

“The city is an excellent position financially, but we still have some challenges we are going to face long-term,” said Crichton.

Commissioner Keith London, who is running against Cooper for mayor, said he thinks the city needs to rein in its spending.

“I think the budget is too high,” said London. “I don’t think we get the value for our dollar.”

City staff has been working on a proposed budget for months now, and the work will continue through the summer. There will be two public hearings in September before the commission votes on a final tax rate.

In the meantime, commissioners said, the staff should look for ways to save money.

Also at the meeting, the commission agreed to raise fire fees by $20 to $145. By raising the fees, the city would see an additional $900,000.