Saturday, September 21, 2013

Not sure how material this is...

But if you happen to look through the Palm Beach Post's printed edition today (9/21/13), you will see many municipal and taxing authority notices, required by law, related to the adoption of the fiscal year 2013-14 budget. The fiscal year begins October 1 for municipalities in Florida.

Lake Worth's announcement is toward the back of the first section. It is in two parts, as are all the other budget announcements and tax increase notices. This is the "NOTICE OF PROPOSED TAX INCREASE" for the city of Lake Worth:
What caught my eye initially was whether or not this represented a "tax increase" as proclaimed in the title. Compared to the initially proposed tax levy of last year, this year's proposed tax levy (the last figure above) is slightly less. Then, I came around and said, "O.K., then line B represents adjustments in value and other changes where the city didn't collect what it thought was going to last year. And if you compare line C with this year's proposed tax levy, there is indeed an increase." This all relates to revenue generated by taxes levied on property or what is referred to as "Ad Valorem Taxes."

Each municipality or taxing authority is also required to publish a "Budget Summary." Here is Lake Worth's.
Here we find out at the top of the ad that the proposed operating budget expenditures are 4.62% more that last year's total operating expenditures. Well, that's all well and good.

However, if you look closely at the amount of ad valorem taxes applied to the general fund in the budget summary, you see the following:
This number should be the same as "This year's proposed tax levy" number in the "NOTICE OF PROPOSED TAX INCREASE" above. It isn't. It is $60,000 more in the "BUDGET SUMMARY." These numbers should be the same.

How many times was this looked at? Will the city have to re-publish? Or, is it no big deal?