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Miami Commission Signs Off On New Budget

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Miami City Commission

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MIAMI (CBS4) – After more than ten hours of debate and going over a proposed budget line by line, Miami commissioners approved a $479 million spending plan for next year just after 3:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.

The plan, which calls for no cuts in services and minimal layoffs, includes a slight tax cut for homeowners.

The lower tax rate of $7.57 per $1,000 of taxable assessed property value means about $30 in savings for the owner of a $300,000 property with a homestead exemption.

In recent days, three of the city’s four unions agreed to one year contracts to help the city bridge a $62 million spending gap. The holdout, the police union, finally reached an agreement on Tuesday which makes officers pay more for benefits, but save jobs.

“But the way we structured it, it’s a little less painful than it would’ve been otherwise,” said Armando Aguilar, the FOP president.

“We have a $62.5 million deficit so we need the concessions. And to be fair, all unions have done concessions,” said Commissioner Frank Carollo.

In fact, that’s part of how the deficit hole was filled. City Manager Johnny Martinez said $22 million came from union concessions, $29 million came from department cuts, and the rest came from overall expenditure cuts.

While the budget does not call for mass layoffs, about 150 vacant positions will not be filled and current employees will be terminated.

The budget goes into effect on Saturday.

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