The Monroe County Board of County Commissioners adopted the 2020 budget and millage rate at its final public hearing held on Wednesday, Sept. 18 at Murray Nelson Government Center in Key Largo. The budget reflects the commissioner’s direction to meet increased service demands and workload, continued Hurricane Irma recovery, infrastructure improvements, and future challenges, like climate change and sea-level rise.
The Countywide certified adopted millage rate by the BOCC for Fiscal Year 2020 is 1.66 percent above the rollback millage rate from 2.5459 to 2.5881. Per the BOCC’s authorization, a new taxing district to help fund a new hospital in the Middle Keys encompassing Mile Marker 40 and Mile Marker 65. With the new taxing district, the aggregate millage rate is 3.14 percent above the rolled-back millage rate. Ad Valorem taxes collected overall will be $94.1 million.
The $472,696,406 budget covers the Board of County Commissioners’ operating budget, capital projects, and constitutional officer’s budgets.
Within the budget, a net of an additional 11.5 new Board of County Commissioners positions were approved. Positions include assistants for the Guardian Ad Litem and Social Services, a park director and maintenance worker, a fleet mechanic, fire marshal, and two fire inspectors, four firefighter positions for Monroe County Fire Rescue’s Sugarloaf department, two fleet mechanic/generator technicians, and a safety office administrator. The Board also approved an up to 4 percent raise for County employees, which will include a cost of living increase and possible merit-based raise.
The budget goes into effect Oct. 1, 2019.