Miami Gardens - Opa-locka

Miami Gardens approves budget and tax rate for 2015-16 fiscal year

Miami Gardens' Mayor Oliver Gilbert III delivering the state of the city address outside City Hall in May.
Miami Gardens' Mayor Oliver Gilbert III delivering the state of the city address outside City Hall in May. MIAMI HERALD STAFF

Miami Gardens has officially approved its tax rate and budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

Both ordinances were approved at the city’s second budget hearing Wednesday after council members discussed having their aides now report to the city manager’s office.

The budget of about $100 million dollars also calls for the mayor’s staff to report to the city manager. Council members decided at the hearing to allow the shared city council assistants to also fall under the manager’s office. Previously the council aides were under the city clerk’s department.

“Most of the projects or initiatives that we put forth, although we do it through the clerk’s office, it’s either parks and recreation that’s handling it, or public works or it’s a department that has to help us,” Vice Mayor Felicia Robinson said.

Council members Erhabor Ighodaro and Lisa Davis voted against that amendment to the budget.

Beyond that change, the city’s budget remains unchanged from its first hearing. About $66 million will be devoted to Miami Gardens’ general fund and the city plans to hire 11 new police officers.

The budget also calls for two new employees in the city manager’s office, a new code enforcement officer and the removal of a city engineer position that will be replaced by an assistant public works director. That change in public works will save the city about $116,000.

The city also plans to direct about $130,000 in reserve funding toward funding capital projects including potential maintenance costs for City Hall and the new police department headquarters.

The approval of the tax rate also locks in a rate of about $6.93 per $1,000 of assessed property value.

Lance Dixon: 305-376-3708, @LDixon_3

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