City Of Miami Spent Its Bonanza 8211 And More
Written by Risa Polansky on May 20, 2010
By Risa Polansky
As revenue poured into the City of Miami during the boom years, it still couldn’t keep up with soaring spending.
Expenditure growth outpaced income growth by 37% over the past 10 years, with general fund revenue increasing more than $178 million but spending skyrocketing $244 million-plus, commissioners learned last week.
That’s a 60.8% revenue increase compared to 86.6% more spending from fiscal 2000 to 2009, not including fund transfers.
The revelations come as answer to the question "the good years… what did the city do with the money?" new City Manager Carlos Migoya said.
In his two-plus months in office, folks have been asking, Mr. Migoya said. So he hired consultant Public Financial Management to analyze the city’s cash flow over the past decade.
The firm found that while development exploded and city income spiked, so did spending — the bulk on employee costs, which nearly doubled during the period.
The discrepancy began in 2003, when the city spent about $6.8 million more than the $338.9 million it took in.
In 2007, considered the last year of the real estate boom, revenue hit a decade high of $490.1 million. But spending outpaced that by nearly $40 million.
As revenue plummeted after that — to the tune of nearly $20 million between 2007 and 2008 — spending barely fell, declining only $3 million between 2007 and last year.
Growth in personnel costs during the past 10 years was 15% more than the total general fund revenue increase, the consultants found.
Heading into union negotiations and budget season, Commission Chair Marc Sarnoff said of the figures, "This is something I think the City of Miami badly needed to see."