The Coastal Star

Delray Beach: Budget passes with slight tax rate drop

By Jane Smith

Delray Beach city commissioners approved a $134.5 million budget for the 2019 financial year in late September.
The approved tax rate is $6.97 per $1,000 of taxable value, a decrease of 1.6 percent from the budget year that just ended. But property owners likely will see increased tax bills because property values rose. An owner of a $300,000 home with a $50,000 homestead exemption will pay about $7 more for city taxes.
The budget includes $476,000 to the Police Department to acquire more body-worn cameras, Tasers, in-car video cameras and interview room cameras; $2.5 million to Public Works for general construction needs such as beautification projects; $542,726 to the information technology department for software subscriptions; and $250,000 to the development services department for inspection and plan review services.
Meanwhile, Finance Director Kim Ferrell told commissioners of a $2.5 million shortfall when the city’s police and firefighters pension boards reduced their estimated rates of return from 8 percent to 7.25 percent.
The city would have to pay the difference, Ferrell said. But with the fiscal year set to begin Oct. 1, the money wasn’t available. Commissioners asked the city manager to find a source for the money, possibly the city’s reserves.

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