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Tallahassee City Commission approves 2020 budget

Posted at 7:21 PM, Sep 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-25 19:21:16-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Tallahassee City Commission unanimously approved the Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) budget.

The balanced budget focuses on the community's highest priorities of public safety, infrastructure investment, quality of life, the impact of poverty and economic development.

Developed through a multi-stage process involving public participation and City Commission input, the FY20 budget totals $899.5 million. Within that, the operating budget totals $740.7 million, and the capital budget totals $158.8 million.

"Tallahassee's balanced budget provides residents with the very best in service, financial stewardship and transparency," said Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey. "With investments in key areas that meet our community's needs, the city will continue to uphold its mission of being the national leader in the delivery of public services with no increase to the millage rate."

As part of the FY20 budget, City Commissioners voted to hold the millage rate at 4.1000 mills.

According to the Municipal Cost Comparison (MCC), which evaluates what residents pay in taxes and fees for essential city services, Tallahassee is the lowest cost provider in its peer group of 11 other cities from across the state.

The MCC also shows that Tallahassee maintains the lowest millage rate, despite having the second-largest service area and a large proportion of non-taxable property (government buildings, universities, churches, etc.).

Other key takeaways from the approved FY20 budget include:

  • $2.1 million investment in police technology
  • $1 million increase to police salaries
  • Provide a $12 living wage for employees
  • $14.3 million in FY20 funding for 10 new sidewalks a year for the next 5 years
  • $1 million investment in sidewalk maintenance
  • $6.5 million investment in road maintenance to accomplish paving 60 to 80 road miles
  • $12 million funding for Airport facilities to drive economic development efforts getting us ever closer to our goal of a $1 billion impact on the local economy in the next five years
  • $93 million investment in utilities infrastructure to enhance reliability
  • $1.5 million increased investment in the City's County-wide Fire Services program
  • Expansion of Fire ALS coverage area to address the 58% increase in EMS calls since 2012
  • $1.1 million of outside agency direct grant funding, roughly $800K of which is devoted to human service providers.
  • Additionally, the Tallahassee-Leon County Community Human Services Partnership (CHSP) provides $3.5 million a year to nearly 60 organizations providing direct human services to Tallahassee and Leon County's population of 300,000.
  • CHSP and direct City grants provide over $900K combined towards addressing homelessness through grants to the Kearney Center and HOPE Community, which together shelter and feed roughly 500-600 people on a given night.

FY20 begins on October 1.