Orlando City Council to vote on $1.43 billion budget

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Orlando city commissioners will vote Monday on locking in a $1.43 billion budget, that mostly skirted fears that COVID-19 would put a divot into local budgets.

But the spending plan has shrunk since July, when commissioners were briefed on a proposal that called for a slightly higher total than last year. The decrease, about $12 million less than last year, is due in part to about $18 million in public works projects being deferred to future years, deputy chief financial officer Michelle McCrimmon, told the city council earlier this month, as well as several smaller decreases in other departments.

The July proposal called for a $1.447 billion budget, compared with $1.429 billion now.

Property owners will again pay $6.65 for every $1,000 of the taxable value of their land, the same tax rate since 2015. But with property values climbing 4% since last year, the city will pull in a larger amount in taxes.

The majority of spending in the $545 million general fund is dedicated to public safety, with more than 54%. Of that, the Orlando Police Department is due to receive $171.4 million, or 31.4%, and the Orlando Fire Department is expected to receive $125.5 million, or 23% of spending.

Around the country, cities feared COVID-19 would cripple their budgets forcing them to layoff staffers or reduce services. But because Orlando is primarily funded by property tax collections, it was mostly unaffected by the pandemic, city officials have said, as property values grew year over year, albeit smaller than previous years.

The vote is scheduled for 5:01 p.m. Monday, after the regularly scheduled city council meeting. Members of the public can address the council in person or virtually.


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