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Bob Weisman’s Response to TaxWatch Study


NOTE: The TaxWatch study was made available to commissioners and staff prior to their press release. This is the initial response from County Adminstrator Weisman.


From: Robert Weisman
Sent: Wednesday, September 07, 2011 9:01 AM
To: BCC-All Commissioners
Cc: Lisa DeLaRionda; John Wilson; Audrey Wolf; Ross Hering; Robert Weisman; Brad Merriman; Denise Nieman; George Webb; Joe Bergeron F.; Jon Van Arnam; Liz Bloeser; Shannon LaRocque; Steve Bordelon; Steve Jerauld; Verdenia Baker; Vince Bonvento
Subject: TaxWatch Report on Reserves and Property

You have been provided with a “draft” copy of a TaxWatch report on Palm Beach County that concentrates on our financial reserves and property. We have been able to give this only a cursory review since we were given access to it last night. The following are some brief comments in case you are asked about the report.

The financial reserve discussion appears very similar in opinion to the report that was issued 5 years ago. There does not appear to be anything in the reserve discussion that would affect our proposed budget. The funds they speak about are from multiple sources (impact fees, special revenues, bonds, general fund, etc) which are allocated to multiple projects. The only way funds could be made available to help balance the budget would be to eliminate and de-fund general fund projects that we have deemed necessary. We routinely examine project status and one of the ways we have balanced our budgets over the past few years is by taking money from completed or other projects whenever justifiable.

There would not appear to be anything new in the property portion of the report. Mecca is by far the largest asset we have, which it appears makes up 1/3 of the property they are talking about. The practicality and wisdom of selling our limited marketable property at this time is questionable. The numbers sound big, the reality is different.

We will evaluate and respond more fully after the final report is issued and we can review it in detail. If it discloses anything that can be useful in our budget balancing efforts, I can assure you that we will so inform you.

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  1. […] has refuted a September TaxWatch report that found the county has reserves higher than comparable counties, […]



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