Thursday, October 01, 2009

HALLANDALE BLUES

I just received the following news about the City of Hallandale, where I live. The City Commission's special meeting held on September 24, 2009, for the purpose of passing the 2009/10 budget decided:

1) A motion presented by a commissioner to keep taxes equal to last year was defeated.

2) The motion to increase tax millage rate to 5.9 from last year's rate of 4.9818 (19.72% increase in the tax millage) prevailed (3-2 vote). That is the percentage applied on the appraised value of our homes to calculate property tax. This was the recommendation of the City Manager. More interesting facts:

3) The City of Hallandale has approximately 429 employees (full and part time).

4) 152 employees are paid $100,000 or more in total compensation.

5) 39 employees are paid $ 150,000 or more in total compensation.

6) 6 employees are paid $200,000 or more in total compensation.

7) The yard waste recycling program for single family homes will be eliminated. Hallandale City Manager recommends that residents just throw their landscaping and yard waste in their normal garbage bins. This is clearly a backwards step in the recently affirmed goal of recycling. No more making mulch off yard waste. The city will just throw more garbage in the landfill, no problem. By the way, if you want to know how much I pay in water and trash removal every month, it'll make you cry.

8) A new position was created: The Director of Public Utilities with a total compensation package of about $146,000. Exactly what we needed. The City already has a Department of Public Works, which was perfectly handling this kind of duties. But apparently in these hard times, we really need to split a department in two so we can add $146,000 to city budget!

I don't think that I should mention commissioners by name here. Or say who voted what. This is not the purpose of these comments.

But next time you pay your higher property taxes, even though the value of your home has sharply dropped, remember the reasons. The City of Hallandale has stuck us with the doctrine that thousands of new condominiums were built so that "we can increase our tax base".

Did we wrongly understand that it implied a potential reduction of our taxes?
However, our traffic problems are worse than ever. Our quality of life is degrading by the day. Everything is going down, except our taxes.

How many employees, you said? How much they make?

Come on, is Hallandale becoming the new Paris, the new New York?



I am a real estate professional at United Realty Group Inc.
You can visit my website: http://www.condo-southflorida.com/ where you can search for Hallandale Beach Condos, Sunny Isles Condos
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