HomeLocalWilliamson Proposes 5% Budget Increase

Williamson Proposes 5% Budget Increase

With an eye toward future large-scale projects, Key Biscayne Village Manager Steve Williamson is proposing to increase spending by about five percent next year in a $39.3 million budget for 2022.

The spending plan calls for hiring two new police officers, four part-time “beach rangers,” a public works superintendent, a second code compliance officer, and a municipal planner. 

The plan, which gets its first hearing tonight, does not allocate $5.4 million in federal funding that is headed to the island under the American Recovery Plan Act. In a bit of finance jocularity, the budget lists those funds as “Other People’s Money.” It does, however list a number of projects the funds could be used for.

Although individual parcels will vary, property taxes overall would increase by about 4.7% under the budget. While the proposed increase in the ‘millage rate’ is only 3.9%, the tax base of Key Biscayne iresilncreased 0.8% because of a rise in taxable property values, which contributes to the amount of tax a property owner will pay. It’s the first time in three years that property values, as measured by the property appraiser, have risen.

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The budget anticipates that some of the increased cost of personnel changes will be offset by other staffing moves, according Williamson’s budget presentation. 

Williamson is proposing to create a set of rules that would govern how any future borrowing takes place under the $100 Million resiliency bond that was approved by voters in November. The manager’s “Debt Policy” would build on the current cap that is already in the Village Charter.

Tonight’s workshop session starts at 6:00 p.m. Several additional meetings are planned before the budget is adopted in September.

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Tony Winton is the editor-in-chief of the Key Biscayne Independent and president of Miami Fourth Estate, Inc. He worked previously at The Associated Press for three decades winning multiple Edward R. Murrow awards. He was president of the News Media Guild, a journalism union, for 10 years. Born in Chicago, he is a graduate of Columbia University. His interests are photography and technology, sailing, cooking, and science fiction.

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