Pensacola

Pensacola Mayor proposes $226.7 million budget

July 17, 2017

Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward has proposed a $226.7 million operating budget for FY 2018 – a $8.66 million increase, or a 4-percent, over the current operating budget.

Five million of the increase is for capital projects funded by Local Options Sales Taxes.

The fiscal year 2018 proposed budget maintains the same millage rate as was set in fiscal year 2012. The City’s fiscal year 2018 preliminary taxable value of $3.45 billion increased by $192.5 million representing a 5.79 percent growth in valuation over the fiscal year 2017 level.

Sanitation fees were already increased, effective July 1. Natural gas rates will go up in FY 2018.

The General Fund budget will increase from $51.24 million currently to $52.18 for FY 2018 – an increase of $943K.

Check out: Budget in brief PROPOSED 18

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  • Mr reality July 20, 2017 at 1:51 am

    Its hard to imagine a city of 50,000 people spends half as much as a county of 350,000 people…the spending is out of control…

  • CJ Lewis July 17, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    Except the Pensacola City Council to once again vote in September to “increase the property tax levy.” Almost no city residents know that the City Council does this each year using a very complicated state law procedure. Because the action is so extraordinary – commonplace with the City Council – there is an extensive amount of paperwork that must be prepared, certified and sent to the state government to include listing the names of each City Council Member and how they voted. As best I can recall, the media never reports the event that takes place as a prelude to the yearly rubberstamping of a city budget that City Council Members openly say includes millions in waste but they mostly do not want to stick their necks out raising a fuss. Last year, the City Council voted to increase the property tax levy by 4.06% for a total of $583,162. State law requires the City Council to justify the property tax levy increase. Last year, the story line was seven words long – “To maintain services and meet increased costs.” Keep in mind that one of the increased costs was a 53% pay raise the City Council voted itself after voting to abolish the Citizens’ Compensation Task Force that until then had set the salaries of City Council members. Also paid as part of the increase was a new position created for former fired City Attorney Rusty Wells who became the “Special Assistant to the City Administrator,” the City Administrator now building his own little staff empire. For the most part, the City Council members could care less about the budget process. Last year, my District 1 Councilman P.C. Wu hung up on Inweekly reporter Dwayne Escobedo when he called to ask about the city budget. District 7 Councilwoman Jewel Cannada-Wynn who often appears to have no understanding of the city budget process told Escobedo, “…I’m basically satisfied with it.” In spite of losing my election last year to Wu who told voters that I was a liar and that his reelection each year is as he put it – “a formality” – I learned a lot talking to voters to include that almost none know how the city government is funded. Two of my neighbors just moved outside of city limits because it was less expensive. I told them that they would no longer be paying 10% Public Utility Taxes on utilities, a tax that is charged only inside city limits. And yet, amid the glut of money in city hall, our starting police officers might be able to make more money if they waited tables at Global Grill. On top of all that, the City Council has no plans to have public budget workshops this year ensuring the public knows even less. As of right now, now public budget workshops are planned for August. As a reminder, the City Council once held such workshops early in the planning cycle to ensure that the budget reflected the public’s input early on. The best one I recall was a 30-month Budget Review held on April 14, 2008 when the City Council made some hard choices and, in my opinion, mostly the wrong ones to judge by how things turned out.