By Jill Fox
The proposed budget for 2021 was presented at the city commission meeting, and despite rising property values, the millage rate will remain the same.
In a letter by City Manager Nancy Morando, she explained how the budget was prepared during a unique time in the absence of typical strategic planning sessions.
The COVID-19 pandemic led to the cancellation of these sessions, and a fiscal guidance workshop held on June 17 provided the city commission with available information to evaluate finance options and how best to position the city for 2021 and beyond.
“Since the founding of our city, Parkland residents have never experienced closures, cancellations, emergency orders, and disruption to our way of life the way they did from February 2020 through the publishing of this document,” wrote Morando.
The total fiscal year 2021 budget equals $48,480,550, representing a 15.1 percent decrease from 2020. The realities and uncertainties of COVID-19 required the city to adjust to these unprecedented times.
The city’s largest revenue source of revenue is ad valorem taxes, which comprise 57 percent of all General Fund revenue. For the 2021 budget year, the city had an increase of 6.99 percent or $355 million in taxable value. This increase resulted in an additional $1.5 million in ad valorem revenue.
Existing residential growth was 2.33 percent or $106 million and will contribute an additional $440,000 in new ad valorem revenue in 2021. New residential construction added $249 million in taxable value, which adds an additional $1,040,000 in new ad valorem revenue.
The capital improvement program for 2021 provides spending on necessary park repairs, equipment, and infrastructure replacements. Another integral part of the 2021 budget is taxable values provided by the Broward County Property Appraiser’s Office.
The millage rate, which represents the amount per every $1,000 of a property’s assessed value, is used to calculate property taxes. The proposed millage rate was 4.4 — the same as in 2020.
At Wednesday’s meeting, a resolution passed 4 to 1 to send the property appraiser the proposed millage rate of 4.4 mills for 2021.
Mayor Christine Hunschofsky said she would prefer to go with the roll-back rate of 4.2998 to make sure residents were not paying a higher amount than last year and explained the millage rate might stay the same, however, if property values increase, residents would have to pay slightly more than last year.
Fire and Solid Waste
The proposed fire assessment fee for 2021 is $250 per residential unit, which is the same as in 2020.
The proposed solid waste assessment is $389.28 for each residential unit, which represents a $0.72 increase over the 2020 adopted solid waste assessment.
Chris Johnson, the finance director, who prepared the budget documents along with Budget and Grants Manager, Sherri Toops, said, depending on how the pandemic plays out, they will hold a residents’ workshop on Wednesday, August 12 at 6:00 p.m.
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- Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She has worked in public relations and television for over 20 years. Fox lives in Parkland with her husband and their two children.