County Administrator presents next year’s recommended budget

  • May 28, 2015

MANATEE COUNTY, FL (May 28, 2015) – For the eighth consecutive year, Manatee County’s overall tax rate remains the same in County Administrator Ed Hunzeker’s $550 million recommended net budget for 2016. Local taxable values are estimated to rise by 9 percent, contributing to the Administrator’s recommended 2016 budget that is roughly $20 million greater than this year’s net budget. The budget prioritizes a list of community needs the County Commission identified during an April workshop.

 Those priorities include: 

 

  1. Community health care – The recommended budget allocates $6.9 million toward health care programs for the working poor. In prior years the programs were funded entirely through proceeds from the sale of Manatee Memorial Hospital during the 1980s. That funding, known as the corpus, is set to expire this year, so non-recurring property taxes will pay for $6.2 million of the $6.9 million total. This portion of the budget is about one-third of the County’s overall health care expenses of $21.8 million which also covers inmate medical costs, Children’s Services funding and the state’s Medicaid match requirements.
  2. Employee compensation – Hunzeker again told Commissioners today that Manatee County employs far fewer people today than it did in 2005, but nearly 50,000 people have moved here over that time. To offset the stress on the workforce, Hunzeker recommends a 4 percent increase for employee salaries. Independently elected Constitutional Officers will determine how to allocate the increase within their offices. Hunzeker plans to allocate the increase for County employees using a combination of pay for performance increases and market equity adjustments.
  3. Animal Services – Commissioners reaffirmed their commitment to the No Kill movement earlier this spring, and committed funding for operating supplies, medical supplies and veterinarian fees. The recommended budget continues that funding at a cost of $286,186.
  4. P25 Public Safety Radio – Manatee County is purchasing a new public safety radio system with Sarasota County. Next year’s recommended budget includes debt service payments for Manatee’s $15 million share of the project.
  5. MCAT routes – County Commissioners last year approved two new MCAT routes, connecting Lakewood Ranch to Bradenton Beach via S.R. 70, and a new north Manatee route that services Rubonia and other areas of Palmetto. Next year’s recommended budget continues funding for those routes.

“The FY16 Recommended Budget addresses the Board’s top priorities without raising the millage rate for our taxpayers,” Hunzeker said. Later he added, “In the coming years we must recommit to investing repairs for our aging infrastructure and needed infrastructure for the future.”

 

Next year's budget materials will be posted at www.mymanatee.org/budget
 

Today’s budget rollout is the first in a series of public workshops to discuss next year’s spending plan. Other meetings are scheduled as follows:

 

  • Fund Summary Review on Wed., June 3, 1:30 – 5 p.m., in the Manatee Room on the Fourth Floor of the County Administration Building, 1112 Manatee Ave. W. This presentation will provide a summary of the county’s major financial funds. The county’s financial structure is made up of approximately 150 funds, each of which is a self-balancing entity, and is created for legal compliance, accountability requirements, or both.
  • Decision Unit Review on Mon., June 8 at 1:30 p.m. in the Manatee Room on the Fourth Floor of the County Administration Building, 1112 Manatee Ave. W.
  • Decision Unit Review on Tues., June 9 at 9 a.m. in the Manatee Room on the Fourth Floor of the County Administration Building, 1112 Manatee Ave. W.
  • Constitutional Officers’ budget review on Wed., June 10, at 1:30 p.m., in the First Floor Chambers of Manatee County Administration Building. Commissioners will review proposed budgets for Manatee Sheriff’s Office, Manatee Property Appraiser’s Office, the Supervisor of Elections’ Office, Manatee County Tax Collector’s Office and the Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller’s Office. 

 

  • Capital Improvement Program (CIP) on Thurs., June 11, at 9 a.m. in the Manatee Room on the Fourth Floor of the County Administration Building, 1112 Manatee Ave. W.

 

  • Budget public hearing on Thurs., June 11, at 6 p.m. in the Manatee Room on the First Floor Chambers of the County Administration Building, 1112 Manatee Ave. W.

 

  • Special Meeting on Budget Reconciliation and adoption of a tentative millage rate on Thurs., July 30, at 1:30 p.m., First Floor Chambers of the County Administration Building, 1112 Manatee Ave. W.

 

Two additional public hearings will be held in September, before the 2015-16 budget is adopted.

 

For more information on Manatee County Government, visit online at www.mymanatee.org or call (941) 748-4501. You can also follow us on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/manatee.county.fl and on Twitter, @ManateeGov.