Miami-Dade County

Dade Data: Scoring the windfalls in Gimenez budget for 2016

Miami Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez speaks to the Miami media after his 2014 State of the County address in Hialeah on Wednesday 26, 2014.
Miami Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez speaks to the Miami media after his 2014 State of the County address in Hialeah on Wednesday 26, 2014. EL NUEVO HERALD

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez proposed a 2016 budget with about $120 million more in property-tax revenue available, thanks to a resurgent real estate market.

That meant recommended spending increases throughout the county bureaucracy. But the windfall didn’t blow evenly through the budget proposal.

Our Dade Data chart compares the 2016 proposal with the current budget to score the biggest winners in the spending plan. The chart is ranked by percentage change, to show the relative impact of the dollars for each agency and entity.

The county’s Elections Department easily comes out on top, with a 52 percent spending increase ahead of the 2016 presidential election. Gimenez’s plan would fund 10 additional early-voting sites throughout the county.

Finishing a distance second with a 38 percent increase is the Pérez Art Museum Miami, which gets an extra $1 million in the plan atop the $2.6 million operating subsidy it already receives from Miami-Dade hotel taxes.

Miami-Dade’s homeless board took the No. 3 spot with a proposed 21 percent bump in spending. That’s mainly thanks to a projected $7 million increase in federal grants.

On the far end of the scorecard, Miami-Dade’s housing agency faces a 9 percent drop in spending. The department relies on federal funds to manage the county’s affordable-housing programs, and those dollars are forecast to dip in 2016.

The biggest loser on the board is Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, the county-owned tourist attraction near Coconut Grove. Gimenez wants to turn the historic site over to a non-profit, and take its 70-member staff off the county payroll.

The result would be a big drop in spending, though no budget savings for Miami-Dade since Vizcaya’s admission and rental revenue would go to the non-profit as well. Gimenez’s budget continues Vizcaya’s $2.5 million operating subsidy from hotel taxes.

You can sort the chart by each column, including by the actual change in dollars (you might have to scroll far to the right to see that category). Click on the 2016 column to sort the budgets from largest to smallest. The county’s largest department, police, is due for a 5 percent increase in 2016.

Data Data is an online feature that analyzes the numbers driving Miami-Dade County government.

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