County Administrator begins County's annual budget process announcing $1.3 billion recommended budget

  • Jun 2, 2017

MANATEE COUNTY, FL (May 30, 2017) – County Administrator Ed Hunzeker today announced a $1.3 billion gross budget for next year that prioritizes spending on law enforcement, public safety and local projects funded through the county's new infrastructure sales tax. There is no recommended change to property tax rates for the 11th consecutive year.

 During a budget discussion with County Commissioners today, Hunzeker noted that for the first time in a decade the Commissioners will not have to rely on reserves to balance the budget. 

 
Rising property values, new construction and continued population growth, he said, have meant more than an 8 percent increase for next year’s net budget of $615 million. Next year’s recommended net budget is $47 million above the County’s current adopted net budget of $568 million (neither annual budget figure includes Port Manatee). The County’s gross budget includes reserves and internal services and transfers. The net budget does not include reserves and internal services and transfers.

As part of the recommended budget, Hunzeker proposed funding for 10 new law enforcement officers for Manatee Sheriff's Office and two new employees for the Community Paramedic Program which has helped curtail the County's overall healthcare expenditures during its first year of operation.
 
Next year’s recommended budget also includes a plan to phase in a budget reduction that anticipates voter approval of a 2018 referendum to raise homestead exemptions. If 60 percent of voters approve the additional homestead exemption, unincorporated Manatee County revenues will be reduced by $8.2 million in Fiscal Year 2020.
 
In each of the next three years Hunzeker recommends that Commissioners commit $2.8 million – about one-third of $8.2 million -- to one-time expenses instead of additional recurring expenses that would have to be cut in 2020.
 
“By exercising discipline and avoiding the urge to spend all new revenues on recurring expenses, you will be in a position to reduce your annual operating budget by $8.2 million without reducing services in the third year of this plan,” Hunzeker said.
 
He urged Commissioners to use the healthier budget outlook to address some of the County's long term needs. 

"It has been a decade since we have seen this kind of growth in the tax base," Hunzeker told Commissioners. "This puts you in the unique position of being able to prioritize long term investments more proactively. Instead of having to decide where to cut or how much to borrow, this Board is now in the position to use your budget as a tool to address your priorities. The challenge this year will be one of setting priorities."

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

  • Fund Summary review on Wed., June 7, 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 Tues., June 13 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 14, 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 15, at 1:30 p.m. in the Manatee Room on the Fourth Floor of the County Administration Building, 1112 Manatee Ave. W.

 

  • Budget public hearing on Thurs., June 15, at 6 p.m. in 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 Tues., Aug. 1, at 9 a.m., in the First Floor Chambers of the County Administration Building, 1112 Manatee Ave. W.

 

  • Two public hearings will be held September 18 and 25 before the 2017-18 budget is adopted.

 
Budget materials will be available throughout the budget process this summer at www.mymanatee.org/budget
 
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 at www.facebook.com/manatee.county.fl and on Twitter, @ManateeGov.