TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — On Wednesday, the Tallahassee City Commission approved the Fiscal Year 2021 budget despite challenges presented due to COVID-19.
The balanced budget focuses on efficiently addressing the community's highest priorities as outlined in the City's 2024 Strategic Plan.
Developed through a year-round, multi-stage process involving public participation and City Commission input, the FY21 budget totals $894,672,242 million.
Within that, the operating budget totals $743.1 million, and the capital budget totals $151.5 million.
As part of the FY21 budget, City Commissioners voted to hold the millage rate at 4.1000 mills, the same as it has been for the previous five years.
"Development of the FY21 budget required overcoming significant economic impacts and reduction of critical revenue sources caused by COVID-19," City Manager Reese Goad said. "With the City Commission's direction, citizen input, and the guidance of the City's Strategic Plan, however, we leaned into the challenges presented during this time of unprecedented change. This budget reflects an unwavering focus on meeting the needs of the community and ensuring the City of Tallahassee remains the national leader in the delivery of public service."
According to the Municipal Cost Comparison, which evaluates what residents pay in taxes and fees for essential city services, Tallahassee is among the lowest cost providers 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 portion of the non-taxable property (government buildings, universities, churches, etc.).
Other key takeaways from the approved FY21 budget include:
- Provides capital investments of $23.1 million for public infrastructure projects, $10.1 million for new technology, $26.9 million at the Tallahassee International Airport, and $92.1 million across the City's six utility departments.
- Reduces employee contributions for health insurance, which will keep more money in the pockets of employees.
- Provides a one-time bonus of $1,000 in October 2020 for full-time and OPS employees who make up to $20 an hour.
- Delays the implementation of Fire Services Fee in recognition of the need for economic recovery in the community.
- Provides $3.9 million support to address a full range of community human service needs through the Community Human Services Partnership and other programs