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Date of Issue: September 15, 2005

Bradenton Beach budget passes first-reading muster

With nary a comment and in a record-setting 20 minutes, Bradenton Beach city commissioners adopted a tentative budget and tax rate for the upcoming fiscal year.

Final ratification of the proposals will be at 7 p.m. Sept. 22 in city hall.

No one from the public spoke on the spending plan for fiscal year 2005-06, which begins Oct. 1. The proposed budget is $3,155,023, up from the current $2,738,119, while the proposed property tax rate has dropped from the current 2.4932 mill to 2.4902.

The city taxes for a home valued at $525,000, taking advantage of the homestead exemption, would be $1,245.

City property value increases were up significantly from the current budget year to next - the property tax assessments rose from $434,981,500 to $547,400,323 in the past year, and with that increase property taxes rose.

That increase means that the "roll-back rate," or the tax the city would levy to bring in the same amount of dollars next year versus this year, is actually up 26.55 percent, although the actual millage is slightly down. A mill is $1 for every $1,000 of assessed value.

The proposed upcoming budget has few surprises from the current operating plan for the city. Some departments have been combined or shifted- the parks department is now included in the facilities management division, for example - but overall expenditures are only slightly up across the board.

Highlights of the budget:

  1. Police department for fiscal year 2005-06: $810,255, down from the current $812,048.
  2. Administration for fiscal year 2005-06: $385,567, down from the current $396,700.
  3. Planning and development for fiscal year 2005-06: $242,252, up from the current $188,262. Much of the increase is due to additional staff within the department.
  4. Facilities management for fiscal year 2005-06: $151,096, up from the current $51,204.
  5. Stormwater management for fiscal year 2005-06: $128,687, up from the current $79,445.
  6. Streets and roads for fiscal year 2005-06: $134,721, down from the current $178,242.
  7. Sanitation department for fiscal year 2005-06: $333,447, up from the current $325,000.
  8. Capital improvement projects total $782,828, and include other funding sources and transfers for the new bike lane at the south end of the city at $250,000 and pier renovations at $200,000, both of which are from other funding categories.