Thanks to Post Office rescuer!
I am a newcomer to this area and, today, I found the Deerfield Beach Post Office. I had two large envelopes to send – one unsealed, to show the clerk the Tic Tacs [that] were making the noise, as I was sending them along for the 94-year-old lady Veteran’s Honor Flight from Denver to Arlington, next week.
O.K. I did not have my debit card or enough cash. From the back, a man’s voice asked how much my bill was. The clerk said $8 and he said “I’ll pay it.” A tall, wonderful man came forward and paid my bill. I thanked him three times, and others did also.
When a good person steps forward to help out, more people should hear of it. Thanks again, Sir.
Deerfield Beach, FL
City excesses evident in proposed budget
Our City Manager presented a budget for the new fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 that increased the millage rate, proposed a new stormwater tax, and introduced a new Capital Improvement Plan that calls for $96 million in new spending programs over the next five years! The millage rate is now where it was in fiscal 2010 the year before our new public service tax began and the promise of lower millage rates were made.
But the city is now taking in $8 million per year from the public service tax and the rise in non-homesteaded property values in Deerfield Beach brought in an additional $2.1 million in revenue for the new fiscal year. However the City Manager believes our finances are so bad we need an additional new tax called the Stormwater Tax.
Let’s take a look at where this extra $10.1 million in added revenue is being spent by our City Manager:
1) The general fund balance (rainy day fund) has increased by $11 million since 2013 and is projected at $18.7 million this new fiscal year representing a 143 percent increase in just three years. On top of this the City Manager in 2014 created three new rainy day funds called the water and sewer replacement fund, the water and sewer emergency fund and the solid waste emergency reserve fund. These funds now have a balance of $4.5 million for the new fiscal year. The City Manager believes this $23.2 million in reserve is necessary on a proposed budget of $99 million.
This is the HIGHEST amount of reserves that the city has ever had. The City Manager is under the misguided belief that it’s better that the city hold on to this money than you the taxpayer in the form of a lower millage rate.
2) The self funded health plan for city employees is expected to increase by $1.1 million to $7 million, a 19 percent increase from last year. The city pays 90 percent of the medical premium for its employees. The employees also received average merit increases of 2 percent this year.
This and other examples of excess have been pointed out to the city commissioners over the budget process. Their response at the Sept.9 first reading was to roll back the operating millage rate by 1.5 percent so they could claim they did not raise the operating millage rate this year. They fail to realize the citizens of Deerfield Beach are seeing no tax reduction from the $8 million public service tax revenue nor [from] the $2.1 million in added revenue [due to] the increase in property values.
We have one last chance this budget cycle to tell our commissioners our displeasure with our tax-and-spend City Manager and demand that a meaningful percentage of that $10.1 million be returned to the taxpayers in the form of a lower millage rate. Please show up at the Sept. 21 meeting (at 6:45 p.m.) and speak to them during the three minutes they must give you. Go to the city’s website under the financial services section where you can read a copy of the proposed city budget.
Deerfield Beach FL
[Editor’s Note: According to the City, the millage rate was not increased; in fact, the tentatively approved millage rate is that of 6.6688 mills. A stormwater fee is not included in the proposed budget. The fee has also not been imposed on any property. Proceeds from the fee, if deemed necessary in the future, cannot be used for General Fund operations.
The Water & Sewer and Solid Waste Emergency Reserve Funds, as well as the Water and Sewer Renewal and Replacement Funds, have no bearing on a property owner’s tax bill. The funds are fueled by user charges, which cannot be comingled with General Fund dollars.
The reserve balance has been higher than the proposed amount in the past. Neighboring cities with similarly-sized budgets have significantly more in reserves; some even have more than 3 ½ times Deerfield’s level of reserves.]