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Date of Issue: September 16, 2009

Bradenton Beach budget, tax rate pass first reading

Bradenton Beach city commissioners voted to approve a spending plan and millage rate at their Sept. 9 meeting that amounts to the same tax rate as this year.

Commissioner Bob Connors was absent, but the first vote on the 2009-10 budget and tentative millage rate for 2010 passed unanimously.

The commission approved the tentative millage rate of 2.1539 mills, the same as this year’s rate and less than the rollback rate, 2.304 mills, that would produce the same spending as the previous year. However, revenues are projected to be less, and the city spending will correspond.

A mill is $1 for every $1,000 of assessed value of property less any exemptions.

The budget’s revenue forecast is for $2,719,975 compared to $2,973,296 in revenue this year.

Commissioners in July voted to tap reserves to deal with a projected decline in revenue in the next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.

Following the budget approval, Commissioner Jane Robertson requested an early look at line-item budget expenses for the 2010-11 spending review.

“I suggest next time we have better line-item accounting,” Robertson said. “Next year we have to look at “really deep cutting” on our spending.

“We need to see bills paid. For instance, what professional services do we use and what do they cost, so when we come to meetings in February, we know the costs,” she said. “I suggest a spread sheet of line-item accounts.”

Commissioner John Shaughnessy, whose term of office ends in November, agreed, “as long as the review begins in February.”

The final public hearing for the tax rate and budget will take place at 7 p.m. Sept. 23 at city hall, 107 Gulf Drive N.

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