Fee Increases Help Balance Budget

Beginning Oct. 1 several fees will increase in an effort to help balance the city's budget for the next fiscal year.

Gulfport City Council members unanimously approved the operating budget of $10,506,021 for FY2013 during the second reading and public hearing on Wednesday night at Gulfport City Hall.

Only one resident came out with questions regarding the budget. Patricia Milward asked city leaders to define categories in the budget such as "community development" and "49th street subsidy." O'Reilly provided answers during the meeting.

Councilor Jennifer Salmon took a moment before the final vote and cited last year's difficult decisions for helping make this year's budget process much smoother. "Hats off to last year's council," Salmon said.

One year ago councilors passed the FY2012 budget with a 3-2 vote, which included outsourcing the Gulfport Police Department's dispatch services, across-the-board raises and a property tax increase from 3.4742 to 4.0.

The FY2013 Operating Budget begins on October 1.

The Budget


$10,506,021 = estimated cost for the City to operate between Oct. 1, 2012 - September 30, 2013.

All funding sources:

$8,615,374 = estimated revenues the City will collect next fiscal year
$300,000 = transfers from the Marina PILOT fund
$467,000 = transfers from the Sanitation PILOT
$325,000 = transfers from the Utilities PILOT
$798,778 = transfers from Enterprise Funds

Millage Rate:

The current millage rate is 4.0, which equates to $4 per every $1,000. The council approved setting the millage rate for next year at 4.039, which is technically a 0% increase above the rolled-back rate. The rate will provide the same property tax revenues. The rate will generate an estimated $2,626,773 for the general fund and $76,258 for the waterfront redevelopment district.

Fees to Increase:

The dollar amounts below reflect the estimated revenues expected if all of the proposed fee increases are passed in the budget during second reading.

$115,000: Sanitation Special Pickup Fees
$10,000: GEMS ride fee to offset increased fuel costs       
$10,000: Implement Special Event Charge/Fees              
$25,000: Implement Credit Card use Convenience Charge  
$5,000: Increase Summer Rec Fees to Market Rate         
$20,000: Adopt Pinellas County Building Inspection Fee structure
Special Event Charge/Fees

Currently, the City does not recoup costs for co-sponsoring special events held on city streets, parks or facilities (such as the Casino).

The budget includes a $500 charge for major events in city streets and parks. This will include the following events:

Chamber of Commerce Springfest
So49 Bluesfest
Gulfport Merchants Association's Geckofest
Antiques in the Park

Budget Online:

View the entire budget on the City of Gulfport's website.

Lynda September 21, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Gulfport is fortunate both the paid staff and the elected council members are willing -- and able-- to deal with the complexities of budgeting. This is part of the really hard work of maintaining a healthy community which is often overlooked until some controversial decision comes up. All the tiny details of a budget do matter and for some of us, our eyes just cross thinking about it.! Good job in a tough revenue environment.


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