MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez has revealed a new 2012-2013 budget that will lower the property tax rate while trying to protect government services, programs for seniors and children, and prevent layoffs, according to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald.

Gimenez and commissioners lowered the property tax rate by 12 percent last year and plan on dropping the rate another 2 percent this year under his new budget, according to the Herald. Gimenez will also seek to maintain a 4-percent employee healthcare contribution from government employees.

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The Herald reported the new budget will restore funds for the Miami Science Museum, Miami Art Museum, HistoryMiami, and the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens to levels not seen since before the Great Recession hit in 2008.

Gimenez also wants to hire the first two classes of police officers in three years and recruit new firefighters as needed to keep up with requirements, according to the Herald.

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Overall, the county budget would be $5.9 billion, down from $6.2 billion last year.

Commissioners will meet Tuesday to discuss the mayor’s proposal and set a preliminary property-tax rate, which can later be lowered but not raised. September 6, will be the first public commissioner hearing to consider budget and property-tax rate. Then on September 20, the second and final public hearing on the budget will be held, according to the Herald’s timeline.

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