On Sept 11 The Greater Boca Raton Beach and Park District (District) met to discuss its budget for next year. As part of the discussion, a tax increase of 30% took up the bulk of the public debate. On a vote of 5 to 0 the District reduced the tax increase to 15% or a millage rate of 1.0519. That’s $41.16 for a house assessed value of $300,000 according their Tax Revenues at Different Millage Levels chart. All together, it amounts to a yearly increase of $3,844,000 for the district.
It was then pointed out that the District has over $50 million in projects on its plate. It would take over 12 years to save that much money. At the top of the need list is Gumbo Limbo (GL) at $25 million followed by Ocean Breeze Golf Course. See line 3 on attached chart for the Gumbo Limbo Master Plan. The District’s City Capital Projects Slide showed the District’s future requirements by percentages and gives an excellent depiction of joint projects with the city.
As for Gumbo Limbo, they discussed contributions by the city of $10M ,the District of $10M, and donors $5M. Some members of “The Friends of Gumbo Limbo” organization were in the audience and were asked by the District Commissioners to provide more detail on their requested funds for future consideration. It was then decided to add a $500k placeholder line item for Gumbo Limbo to the District’s Budget Summary for Sept 30, 2020.
Councilman Andrew Thomson spoke during public comment. He stated the District does not “need to raise taxes” because the city has money for a bond issue for the golf course. But he offered no details other than the city will do west side and the district do the east side.There was a detailed discussion with Ford and Associates Financial Advisors about how much would it cost the District if they entered into an agreement with the City for a $25 million bond. Answer was $250k.
Briann Harms is presently the Interim Executive Director and was promoted to Executive Director with a 5 to 0 vote.
The District decided to shelve a discussion of a hotel on the golf course.
Next public meeting which will reflect the 15% tax increase will be held Sept 25th at 6 PM