We hope everyone has been enjoying their summer. We are now three weeks away from the next budget hearing and its time to review the bidding.
If you recall, in July the Commission voted 4-3 to set the maximum millage at rollback, 4.8751. This would represent a 2.6% increase, following hikes of 14.9% in 2009 and 9.4% in 2010. (See "Higher Tax Rates in our Future") Commissioners Aaronson, Santamaria, Taylor and Vana voted for the increase, while Abrams, Burdick and Marcus voted against it.
While six of the commissioners have explained their reasons in sufficient detail to suggest firmness of position, Commissioner Vana could possibly change her mind based on our conversation with her. With that in mind, two of our coalition partners are organizing a phonebank to call District 3 constituents and ask them to weigh in on the subject with their commissioner. (See Two TAB Coalition Partners Organize Phonebank to oppose Tax Rate Increase) Now would be a good time for all TAB members to weigh in with Commissioner Vana as well as their own commissioner. Contact information can be found HERE.
In other business, TAB has been attending the Fire/Rescue contract negotiation meetings. Very little has been accomplished in 3 months of talks, but the expiration of the current contract is looming at the end of September. Currently neither side is projecting any across the board pay increases for this contract period. For the current status, see: Little Progress in the IAFF Contract.
Lastly, there are only four days remaining for public input of proposals for changes to the County Charter. TAB has generated and submitted five proposals, including a plan for a county version of the state "Smart Cap", which limits budget growth with a formula derived from population growth and inflation. Please read TAB Proposals for Charter Changes and if you support any or all of these proposals, submit them yourself by pasting the text into the submission tool on the county website. See the article for details. The deadline is this Friday, August 24.
As in the past, we will be developing talking points and other material to help you oppose a tax increase this year. The budget hearings are scheduled for 9/13 and 9/27 starting at 6:00pm, and we hope all TAB followers will plan to attend and speak your mind.
Taxpayer Action Board
Back in June, the County began public meetings about its ongoing Charter Review. The County Charter is its ‘constitution’ and describes Home Rule. There are 20 Home Rule or Charter Counties in Florida. Palm Beach County does not have a formalized Charter Review process, and this is the first comprehensive... [Read More...]
The "negotiations" between Palm Beach County and the International Association of Fire Fighters, local 2928 have now been in progress for three months. With the exception of some minor cleanup in the text, there has been no agreement on anything. The major issues of starting salary (the county wants... [Read More...]
Is there really a swing vote who will decide if our tax rates are increased this year? It is possible. During the July budget workshop, the vote to raise the maximum millage to rollback (4.8751) was 4-3. Commissioners Abrams, Marcus and Burdick voted no to the increase and all had good reasons to... [Read More...]
On Monday, the county commission voted 4-3 to set the maximum millage at 4.8751, which would be a 2.6% increase over 2011. Maximum millage is the number that may not be exceeded when public hearings on the budget resume on September 13. Following back-to-back increases totaling over 25% in the last... [Read More...]