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Cape Coral sets final public hearing for budget

By Staff | Sep 17, 2019

The Cape Coral City Council has spent the last two months working on the city’s budget for Fiscal Year 2020.

On Thursday, at 5:05 p.m. at City Hall, Council will make the budget official during the second and final public hearing.

Council is expected to approve the tentative rollback millage rate of 6.4903, down from the 6.75 mills it has been the last three years and lower than the 6.55 mills City Manager John Szerlag first proposed.

One mill is equal to $1 for every $1,000 of taxable valuation and the rollback rate is the rate at which the city would receive the same amount of revenue as the previous year.

Council is also expected to approve the separate parks millage rate to repay the $60 million GO Bonds parks plan at a pro-rated 0.06 mills.

In an addendum to the passing of the preliminary budget, Council also agreed to look at two revenue sources that could bring the city additional funds: FEMA reimbursement related to Hurricane Irma and the sale of surplus property the city purchased in 2012 in a then-controversial $13 million land buy. None of those proceeds are included in the budget.

The General Fund budget, which funds city operations, is proposed at $233.4 million, up from last year’s $211.64 million as approved and $221.46 million as amended. The tentative total budget is $897.49 million and will go into effect when the fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

The first public hearing on Sept. 5 lasted less than 20 minutes, with no protests from the few residents who attended.

Cape Coral Mayor Joe Coviello said he doesn’t expect anything different on Thursday.

“I think it will be a quick one. I think the workshops told us where we wanted to be and everyone is on a good path,” Coviello said. “I think it will be smooth sailing on the budget.”