HOLLYWOOD (CBS4) – It may soon become more expensive to live and work in the City of Hollywood which is trying to figure out a way to close a $25 million shortfall in next year’s budget.
At a budget workshop Thursday night, commissioners proposed an 11-percent tax increase and fire protection fee increase.READ MORE: 2 Doral Police Officers Injured In Shooting Near Miami-Dade Police Headquarters; Suspect Killed ID'd By Police
The city declared a financial emergency earlier this year when it learned how severe the budget gap would be for the upcoming year. Commissioners have already laid off 18 general employees, cut salaries 7.5-percent for employees and 12.5-percent for police and firefighters, and accepted the city manager’s resignation.
Instead of more cuts, city officials are looking for ways to replenish depleted reserves which currently stand at about $3.78 million, according to CBS4 News partner The Miami Herald. That’s well below the recommended national standard of 5-percent, which prohibits the city from borrowing any money for any projects, such as road maintenance.READ MORE: Shot Doral Police Officer In Serious But Stable Condition, Second Officer Recovering
Last year, property owners paid $671 per $100,000 in property value. With the suggested tax hike, residents would be charged $744. So, the owner of an average single-family home, with an assessed value of $157,747 this year before homestead exemptions, would pay about $800 in taxes.
The proposal also calls for increasing the fire assessment fee a total of $30. The fee, paid by property owners for fire services, would increase from $159 to $189.
Other potential sources of new revenue also outlined for commissioners included more aggressive collections of ambulance fees, increasing dock fees, and exploring billboard revenues along Interstate 95 and Florida’s Turnpike.MORE NEWS: South Florida PBA Union President Steadman Stahl On Stress Of Being A Police Officer
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