Miami-Dade Mayor Unveils $7 Billion Budget Proposal

It will cost $7 billion to run Miami-Dade County next fiscal year, according to the budget proposal unveiled by Mayor Carlos Gimenez Tuesday.

Gimenez is also proposing that the tax rate, AKA the mileage rate, remain flat at 9.7074, the same as last fiscal year.

About a third of the budget is earmarked for capital projects. The balance, almost $5 billion, will go toward operating expenses. Public safety and transportation are a few of the county's largest expenses.

At a news conference Tuesday the mayor spoke of challenges because of decreased revenues.

"The impacts of the Zika virus, the strong dollar, and other economic challenges have led to lower collections of tourist taxes, sales taxes, gas taxes and other revenues," Gimenez said.

Despite the flat tax rate, some homeowners may see an increase in their tax bill because of an increase in their property values.

The mayor said homeowners may also see a slight increase because of a proposal to recommend an increase of $19 to the annual household solid waste management fee. He said the hike would, in part, enhance the activity of crews clamping down on illegal dumpers, who cruise the county looking for piles of garbage.

The mayor said there were other challenges in crafting the budget, especially since funding for local programs and services has been slashed at the state and federal level.

Commissioners will debate the budget proposal over the next few months. They have to pass it by the start of the fiscal year, October 1st.

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