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Boynton Beach Approves Higher Taxes
BOYNTON BEACH —
Boynton Beach residents will see their property taxes increase after the commissioners approved the city budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year in last week’s council meeting.
Because property values increased, property taxes will also increase by 4.2 percent — from $41.5 million to $44.1 million. These taxes will make up 40 percent of the city’s general fund revenue. It is the sixth increase the city has experienced since its fiscal year ending in 2008.
For a person who owns a home worth $100,000 and has a $50,000 homestead exemption, they paid about $395 in property taxes last year. This year they will be expected to pay $412.
Unlike property taxes, city tax rates will stay at 7.9 — the same rate the past four years.
The general fund — which pays for city services such as police, fire, utilities, garbage and recreation — has been set at $91.1 million.
The police and fire department budgets together will take up $55.1 million, or about 60 percent, of the general fund. The fire assessment fee, which was increased last year, will remain at $120.
The general fund will decrease by 2.3 percent this fiscal year, about a $2.1 million difference. City Manager Lori LaVerriere said budget ammendments that increased funds last year for Town Square costs affected part of the decrease. About $4.7 million will be spent this year on the Town Square project.
LaVerriere said pensions will increase to $670,000 and general employees will get 3 percent raises, about $850,000. The city is still negotiating wage increases for the fire department, but police raises are already part of a 3-year contract and will be about $450,000 this year, said Assistant City Manager Tim Howard.
The city also approved 9 new positions to its budget, which includes three part-time park rangers, two police administrative positions, a public art assistant and three utility field technicians. The total amount of city employees this year increased to 826, compared to 817 last year.
The city will pay about $134,000 to add the two administrative positions to the police department, $69,000 for the three part-time park rangers, and about $122,000 for the three utility field technicians.
In early September, commissioners approved three part-time park rangerpositions to add extra security to its 29 parks and to have personnel help chaperone park events.