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September 9, 2008 CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS SPECIAL CITY COUNCIL MINUTES SEPTEMBER 9, 2008 (A) CALL TO ORDER/ROLL CALL The City Council for the City of Miami Gardens, Florida, met in special session on Tuesday, September 9, 2008, beginning at 6:25 p.m., in the City Council Chambers, 1515 NW 1671, Street, Building 5, Suite 200, Miami Gardens, Florida. The following members of the City Council were present: Mayor Shirley Gibson, Vice Mayor Barbara Watson and Council members Aaron Campbell Jr., Andre Williams, Melvin L Bratton, Sharon Pritchett and Oliver G. Gilbert III Also in attendance were: City Manager Dr. Danny O. Crew, City Attorney Sonja K. Dickens and City Clerk Ronetta Taylor, MMC. (B) INVOCATION Councilman Williams delivered the invocation. (C) PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE Pledge of allegiance was recited in unison. (D) RESOLUTION(S)/PUBLIC HEARING Mayor Gibson stated, "This is the first of two public hearings for the adoption of the millage rate and budget for the City of Miami Gardens for fiscal year 2008/2009". Clerk Taylor read the title of the resolution into the record. RESOLUTION NO. 2008-155-842 D-1) A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA, ADOPTING A PROPOSED MILLAGE RATE AT A PUBLIC HEARING, FOR THE FISCAL YEAR COMMENCING OCTOBER 1,2008,THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30, 2009; ESTABLISHING THE ROLLBACK RATE; SETTING A DATE AND TIME FOR A FINAL PUBLIC HEARING TO ADOPT THE FINAL MILLAGE RATE;PROVIDING FOR DIRECTIONS TO THE CITY CLERK;AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE. (SPONSORED BY THE CITY MANAGER) 1 SPECIAL CITY COUNCIL MINUTES SEPTEMBER 9, 2008 Mayor Gibson announced the proposed millage rate for the City for fiscal year 2008/2009 is 5.1402, which is the same amount as the roll-back rate, meaning that the City did not raise taxes this year. Manager Crew explained the proposed Millage Rate of 5.102 provides a little relief for residents. One of the interesting things that happened this year in terms of the millage is the number of households that fell off the tax rolls, completely. Almost 1,800 households in Miami Gardens paid no taxes, this was due in part to the extra exemption. He announced the budget is balanced with this tax rate. Mayor Gibson opened the floor for this public hearing. Oscar Braynon II, 21421 NW 13'Court, Miami Gardens, Florida, appeared before the City Council to ask for further clarification on the rollback rate. Manager Crew explained the rollback rate is the rate that equals the same amount of money the City brought in last year in taxes. This means that when the property value goes up, the tax rate goes down to bring in that same amount of money. Mr. Braynon asked whether this means property owners would be paying the same amount in taxes. Manager Crew explained that even though the tax rate decreased, as per the Florida Statutes, property assessed value increases by three percent each year. Therefore he was not certain whether those property owners with higher assessed values would see a decrease. For non-homestead properties the increase might be even higher. Mr. Braynon asked for clarification as to whether the State Legislators action affected the City of Miami Gardens, and if so, how. Manager Crew opined, if there were no state actions, the City would have brought in an additional 2 million dollars in revenues,this year. However,that revenue is not available because of the actions taken by the state legislators and the voters. Furthermore, the City was forced to cut positions(currently not filled), and take other measures that would address future expenditures. He opined if the economy picks up, the city's revenues will pick up. Manager Crew said there is another proposed amendment that would hurt municipal governments, and if passed, would be a disaster. Mr. Braynon shared that the court has ruled this amendment would not be on the ballot. Manager Crew said there is a petition circulating to override the decision of the court. A majority of the Legislature is pushing that petition. He further explained the City received two big losses. First the extra$25,000 homestead exemption, and then the$25,000 exemption for personal properties and businesses. He said if the City had left the millage at its current level, the amount 2 SPECIAL CITY COUNCIL MINUTES SEPTEMBER 9, 2008 would have only been about $89,000.00. He opined it was not worth it to level the millage rate where it is. After there were no other interested parties to speak on this item, the public hearing was closed. Motion offered by Vice Mayor Watson, seconded by Councilman Bratton to approve this item. Councilman Bratton asked for further clarification on the rollback rate. Manager Crew explained the rollback makes the rate go lower. Theoretically,property taxes will go down. Councilman Bratton asked for a breakdown on those 1,800 properties no longer paying property taxes to the City of Miami Gardens. Mayor Gibson stated Miami-Dade County is proposing to do an increase in its county-wide millage, which would mean an increase of county-wide taxes for Miami Gardens' residents. Manager Crew explained every tax in the County went down except Miami-Dade County's county-wide tax. Mayor Gibson stated it is important for residents to understand that if they see an increase in their taxes, that increase will not be from the City of Miami Gardens. She asked if that information can be included in the information being provided to Councilman Bratton. Councilman Williams asked what is the total budgetary amount for Fiscal Year 2008-09. Manager Crew said realistic the City's budget is approximately 132 Million dollars. Councilman Williams referenced an article in today's paper about the City of Hollywood is raising taxes to offset its cost. He conveyed appreciation to the City Manager and staff for their hard work in balancing the City's budget, without raising taxes. Councilman Campbell expressed concern that with the County-wide tax increase a lot of Miami Gardens' residents are going to think the City of Miami Gardens has raised taxes. He asked that information containing an explanation for this tax increase be provided so that Miami Gardens' residents can understand that although City-wide taxes were reduced, Miami-Dade County is raising county-wide taxes. Mayor Gibson shared that she had attended the County Commission meeting, and although she left prior to the vote, someone was monitoring the meeting and informed her that the County Commissioner for District 1 voted to raise that county-wide millage. 3 SPECIAL CITY COUNCIL MINUTES SEPTEMBER 9, 2008 Attorney Dickens noted for the record the scriveners error on the resolution indicating that the second public hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, September 24`''and not Tuesday, September 24`h. Councilwoman Pritchett stated the numbers provided tonight are not consistent therefore based upon that she would not be voting for this item. She stated that she realize the State Statutes provides that a millage rate be set. She opined it is important that accurate numbers be provided. She conveyed her hope that before this process is over correct information will be provided. Manager Crew stated that updated numbers have been provided to the Council. Councilman Williams asked Councilwoman Pritchett to identify the inaccurate numbers. Councilwoman Pritchett in response to Councilman Williams question stated that she had left the original budget previously provided at home and because she came straight here from work she did not have time to retrieve that document. After there was no further discussion,a motion was offered by Councilman Gilbert, seconded by Vice Mayor Watson to defer voting on this item until after the discussion on the budget. This motion passed and carried by a 7-0 voice vote. At the conclusion of the discussion and upon a 6-1 vote to recall the millage resolution, the motion to approve the millage rate resolution passed and carried by a 6-1 vote. Councilman Bratton: Yes Councilman Campbell: Yes Councilman Gilbert: Yes Councilwoman Pritchett: No Vice Mayor Watson: Yes Councilman Williams: Yes Mayor Gibson: Yes After the adoption of the millage resolution, a motion was offered by Vice Mayor Watson, seconded by Councilman Gilbert to recall the budget ordinance. This motion passed and carried by a 6-1 vote. (E) ORDINANCES) FOR FIRST READING: E-1) AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MIAMI GARDENS,FLORIDA,APPROVING AND ADOPTING THE CITY'S BUDGET FOR THE 2008-2009 FISCAL YEAR;PROVIDING FOR THE EXPENDITURE OF FUNDS; AUTHORIZING THE CITY MANAGER TO TAKE CERTAIN ACTIONS; PROVIDING FOR CARRYOVER OF FUNDS; PROVIDING A SURCHARGE FOR PERMITS; PROVIDING FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF CITY 4 SPECIAL CITY COUNCIL MINUTES SEPTEMBER 9, 2008 DEPARTMENTS; PROVIDING FOR INTERFUND TRANSFERS; PROVIDING FOR AUTOMATIC AMENDMENT;PROVIDING FOR ADOPTION OF REPRESENTATIONS; REPEALING ALL ORDINANCES IN CONFLICT; PROVIDING A SEVERABILITY CLAUSE;PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE. (SPONSORED BY THE CITY MANAGER) Manager Crew announced the budget is balanced in a very difficult year. The biggest addition to the budget this year is the police department. In addition the City has enough funds to prepare for the opening of the Miami Gardens Community Center next year. Mayor Gibson opened the floor for this public hearing. Oscar Braynon II appeared before the City Council to ask about the budget process, more particular what would happen after this first hearing. Manager Crew explained there are two public hearings on both the millage resolution and the budget. Tonight a proposed millage rate resolution will be considered. At the next meeting a resolution will be considered adopting the final millage rate. Tonight is also the first reading on the budget, the second reading and adoption of the budget will take place on September 24'. There being no other interested parties to speak on this item, the public hearing was closed. Motion offered by Councilman Gilbert, seconded by Councilman Williams to adopt this ordinance on first reading. Councilman Williams asked whether the City received any moneys from the half cent transportation tax. Manager Crew said the City did not receive any of those funds and now Miami-Dade County is attempting to take this funding away from those cities receiving this revenue. Councilman Williams asked about the property tax roll. William Alonso, Finance Director for the City of Miami Gardens appeared before the City Council to expound on this issue and said the report that was provided only identified homesteaded properties, which are approximately 20,000. None homestead properties total approximately 10,000. Also the total number of commercial properties is approximately 5,000. He further stated there are 187 properties that are classified as religious and tax exempt. Those properties represent a taxable value of 138 Million Dollars, which equates to approximately $700,000 that the City is not collecting. Vice Mayor Watson referenced the half-cent transportation tax and asked whether the City of Miami Gardens was going to take a stand to be inclusive. 5 SPECIAL CITY COUNCIL MINUTES SEPTEMBER 9, 2008 Manager Crew shared that Sunny Isles Beach has taken a position to challenge the ordinance. Councilman Campbell asked whether churches could be charged a user fee. Manager Crew said the churches are currently being charged a Stormwater user fee, a franchise tax from Miami-Dade County. Attorney Dickens explained, churches and charitable organizations can be charged every other user fee that every other business can be charged. The issue is user fees have to be user fees and cannot be in the nature of a tax. Councilman Bratton made reference to the foreclosed properties and asked whether the City receives the property taxes on those properties. Manager Crew explained the City does in fact receive the property taxes on foreclosed properties. Tax certificates are sold on the courthouse steps. Mr. Alonso further expounded on the foreclosure issue and shared most foreclosed properties are owned by the banks. The banks would pay the property taxes on those foreclosed properties. After there was no further discussion on this item, a motion was offered by Vice Mayor Watson, seconded by Councilman Gilbert to defer approval of this item until after the adoption of the millage resolution. This motion passed and carried by a 7-0 voice vote. Motion offered by Councilman Gilbert, seconded by Councilman Bratton to recall the millage rate resolution. This motion passed and carried by a 6-1 voice vote. Councilwoman Pritchett cast the dissenting vote. At the conclusion of a 6-1 vote to recall the budget ordinance, the motion to approve the budget ordinance on first reading passed and carried by a 6-1 vote. Councilman Campbell: Yes Councilman Gilbert: Yes Councilwoman Pritchett: No Vice Mayor Watson: Yes Councilman Williams: Yes Councilman Bratton: Yes Mayor Gibson: Yes 6 SPECIAL CITY COUNCIL MINUTES SEPTEMBER 9, 2008 (F) ADJOURNMENT. There being no further business to come before this Body and upon a motion being duly made the meeting adjourned at 6:50 p.m. S ley Gibson, Mayor Attest: Ronetta Taylor, MMC 191y Clerk 7