MIAMI-DADE (CBSMiami) – They’re seeing red again at County Hall.

Despite collecting $33-million more in property taxes in the coming year, Miami-Dade County is facing a $50 million budget shortfall under current projections.

According to CBS4 News partner The Miami Herald, Mayor Carlos Gimenez warned commissioners this week after informing employee unions that the county will ask for a continuation of significant benefit concessions.

Gimenez’s administration is requesting that, for another year, workers continue to contribute 5-percent of their base pay toward the cost of health insurance, among other concessions particular to each union.

Gimenez said if county workers don’t continue to contribute the 5-percent, the budget gap would grow to nearly $85 million.

The mayor also told union leaders there’s $15 million projected shortfall in the county’s fire-rescue budget and a 15-million shortfall in its library budget. Both fire rescue and the library are funded by property taxes separate from the general fund.

Extending the worker contribution requires the county to return to the bargaining table with most of its bargaining units. The firefighters union, which has its own healthcare plan, would be exempt.

The additional contributions are supposed to end at the end of the budget year.

Gimenez wants county employees to offer up other concessions as well to help cut the shortfall.

If the county and unions can’t reach an agreement, any pending items at impasse would go to county commissioners for a decision.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report.)



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