The Broward County Commission agreed to final approval for the fiscal year 2017 budget, reducing the property tax rate by 1% from the prior year. The reduction in the property tax rate sets the fiscal year 2017 millage rate at 5.669. Homeowners with a homestead exemption will see no increase in the county portion of their property tax bill.

“This 1% property tax rate reduction was a long time coming,” Commissioner Chip LaMarca said.

For some homeowners, the market value change in their properties, coupled with the reduced millage rate, will determine the amount of property taxes they will pay.

County taxes consist of less than one-quarter of the overall tax bill, which also includes city taxes, school district taxes and special taxing districts.

The fiscal year 2017 budget totals $4.7 billion, which includes all tax supported and non-tax supported funds. Overall, the total budget increases by $505 million, primarily due to key projects at Port Everglades, the Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport, and water and wastewater services. These projects create jobs and economic development opportunities using enterprise funds that do not rely on taxpayer dollars for support.

Fiscal Year 2017 Capital Fund investments include $286 million to modernize and improve airport terminals and other infrastructure at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport. Port Everglades moves forward with $55 million for projects to improve cargo and cruise passenger operations as Broward County continues its tradition as a world-class seaport and airport. Infrastructure improvements in County water and sewer systems will benefit from an $82 million dollar boost in FY 2017 funding.

The fiscal year ahead welcomes the opening of the new 40,000-square-foot Animal Care and Adoption facility. Money is also earmarked for Broward County’s new public safety radio system.

Innovative programs to address homelessness such as rapid rehousing and homeless assistance centers will see an approved increase of $1.9 million. The FY 2017 budget earmarks a total of $13 million for homeless services.

The fiscal year 2017 budget began October 1, 2016.

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David Volz has been a reporter for Hollywood Gazette since 2011 and has worked for numerous community news publications throughout South Florida over the past two decades including the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Miami Herald and South Florida Business Journal. He is a Professor in the Business department at Broward College and the editor of the Coral Springs Connection, an online community news website. He covers city government, schools, sports events, cultural activities, faith groups and workplaces.


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