On September 13, the Tallahassee City Commission will conduct the first of two public hearings to consider the approval of the Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) budget and and an increase in the millage rate. The FY24 operating budget totals $868.4 million, and the FY24 Capital Improvement Plan totals $253 million.
This budget is said to address inflation challenges, affordable housing, mental health services, public safety and the commission’s direction on priorities.
According to staff, the FY24 balanced budget allocates resources to priorities established by the City Commission which includes increasing the Tallahassee Police Department’s budget by 14% ($9.5 million) to reduce violent crime. The additional funding will add 20 new officers, provide investment for advanced video software and artificial intelligence technology, and fund wage increases.
The FY24 budget will also raise full-time and OPS employees to a $16 per hour minimum wage. This will be the second year in a row that the Commission has approved a 5% across-the-board pay increase for employees.
This budget will also further capital improvements projects such as, the second Senior Center, the Southside Transit Center, the Fire Station at Lake Bradford and numerous sidewalk and road projects. Additionally, the budget will invest $7.8 million in wrap-around public safety initiatives including, TEMPO, TEAM, TFLA, neighborhood safety programs, gun violence neighborhood mitigation, the real time crime center, and the Council on the Status of Men and Boys.
Staff states that to achieve the city priorities, the Commission approved an increase in the millage rate to 4.50 at the June 14th budget workshop meeting. However, on July 1, the property appraiser released the final taxable property values which increased by 7.76%. Due to the increased revenue from increase property values and other changes, the proposed budget recommends a millage rate of 4.45.