The Orlando City Council held their annual budget workshop this morning in downtown Orlando, with City Officials proposing a 2016 budget of 1.1 billion, a 75 million dollars increase from last year.
The highlights of the workshop included numbers indicating the city has cut it’s expenses that for six straight years, saving approximately $232 million. The city also touted reductions in city staff despite the growing population of the city, restoration of the city’s credit ratings to pre-recession levels, and general fund revenues totaling $401 million, a $28 million dollar increase from last year’s amount and expenditures totaling the same month, essentially creating a balanced budget.
The majority of the proposed expenditures are being used for public safety with %55 of funds going towards Police and and Fire services.
The tone of the workshop was much more positive than last year’s meeting, when the City Council determined a 17.7% increase in property taxes were needed to cover a budget shortfall. City Commissioners reflected on that decision and were happy with the results in this year’s numbers.
“We needed that 17.7 increase to stop the bleeding” said District 4 Commissioner Patty Sheehan “The patient is stable now, and it’s going to continue to get better.”
City Commissioner Regina Hill agreed saying “The increase was the first vote I had to make, and I’m happy to see it was the right decision.”
The budget is scheduled to be approved in September.
“This is the 6th consecutive year we’ve been able to make budget cuts and save. We’ve identified the core functions of government, and keep those functioning at a high level. It’s nice to be able to walk into a budget meeting and not face any kind of deficit” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.