The Hollywood Commission passed on first reading the proposed the Fiscal Year 2019 operating budget. The total millage rate is 7.6992. This is the same as last year. The operating millage is 7.4665. The debt service is 0.2327. A homeowner with a $200,000 property and a $50,000 homestead exemption will see a total estimated city tax of $1,440. This includes the fire rescue assessment which is $285. This is an increase from $222 from last year. This does not include the proposed fire inspection fee which is an additional $28 an increase from $17 last year. The total City of Hollywood Budget is about $610,501,593. This is a 13.37 percent increase from last year. This is the entire budget for the city. The General Fund Operating Budget is $282.263,083 or 45.2 percent of the total budget.

The taxable value of all property in Hollywood is $16.5 billion. The taxable values of property have increased for the seventh year. The general fund has returned to pre-recession values.

Some of the cost pressures include a flat tax rate, fees for service, pension costs, tax base development, health care, and ongoing collective bargaining negotiations.  Some recommended modifications include general obligation bond special election costs, fire rescue and inspection fee enhancements, ten part-time school resource officers, replacement of vehicles, citywide beautification capital and grants matching for large capital projects.

The City has agreed to pay the salaries of ten part-time school resource officers. Some other items of interest include the hiring of a deputy fire marshal and about $510,000 for the new fire rescue trucks. About $1,200,000 will go for self-contained breathing apparatus for Fire Rescue. About $1,000,000 will go for new police vehicles. About $750,000 will go for landscaping improvements. There will be a circulator vehicle to transport people throughout downtown and the beach.  The capital improvement plan includes a grant match for safe routes to school. This means sidewalks and signs. This will make it safer for children to get to and from school. This includes sewer and water line replacement and lifts station replacement.

Vice Mayor Debra Case voted against the budget. She said “I would like to see the future of the city’s general fund operating with the property taxes it receives. I would like the Beach CRA to continue to refund the city 17 percent of the money it receives,” said Case. “It is important that the projects that the Beach CRA has in its business plan be completed by 2027.”

Mayor Josh Levy likes the budget. He said, “In sum, this year’s budget provides a substantially improved ability to continue efforts to beautify and improve the city’s infrastructure and invest additional dollars toward public safety, our number one responsibility.”

Commissioner Kevin Biederman is pleased with the budget. He said, “This is a good budget and it will do a lot of good in the city. We will be able to make improvements with this budget.”