Written by Miami Today on April 4, 2013
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GOING UP?: Miami-Dade taxpayers may be asked for tax increases this year. Mayor Carlos Gimenez said in his budget address last week that "pressures to increase our service levels… will impact how much our taxpayers will need to pay. I will be carefully weighing the demands for service against the public’s will to pay more for that service.Ó
ANIMAL INSTINCTS: Look for animal services to be part of the county’s increased demands on taxpayers in the coming year. In his annual budget address, Mayor Carlos Gimenez said "I am mindful of the will of the residents. Voters overwhelmingly passed a straw ballot question regarding a dedicated millage for animal services.Ó
PUSHES TO SPEND: More pressures on the county budget next year cited in the mayor’s budget message: he noted that as the Building Better Communities bond money is being spent after voters approved it in 2002, "we are required to support the outstanding debt.Ó He also noted that voting systems and processes need to be improved, fire rescue service levels must be sustained, federal requirements will force upgrades in the county’s wastewater system and there are "requests to increase subsidies for our new museums coming on-line,Ó those being the art and science museums now rising in Museum Park.
HOLD THAT LINE: One place where Mayor Gimenez said he wants to hold the spending line is in labor talks about employees’ 5% contribution of salary toward group health insurance. He wants to continue that. "While I made a promise that this would be reconsidered as our budget improved,Ó he said, "I believe we are not there yet as eliminating this contribution would increase our costs by $22 million in the general fund alone.Ó
DADE DAYS DOINGS: The Miami-Dade County Days Awards Luncheon today (4/4) in Tallahassee will cap off two days of visits from the county with legislators and government officials at the annual state legislative session hits the halfway mark. The awards are sponsored by the Miami-Dade County League of Cities. Scheduled for noon Wednesday was a Miami-Dade Tourist Development Council paella on the Capitol Plaza with celebrity servers including Miami-Dade County Days Sponsors, elected officials, Gov. Rick Scott, the cabinet and the Florida legislative delegation. Wednesday night was to include a Mambo Kings reception sponsored by the City of Doral and a post-reception sponsored by Waste Pro.