Budget Preparation Begins in March
A fiscal year (FY) for the Town of Surfside runs from October 1st through September 30th. Budget development and management is a year-round process, but budget preparation really begins in March. The preparation time is designed to assist the Town’s management in the development of short-term and long-term strategies to meet legal and policy directives as well as the wishes of the community including the various advisory and policy boards and committees. The policy directives of the Town of Surfside’s Town Commission are the principal focus of each budget process.
Public Workshops and Public Hearings
The Town of Surfside hosts a series of public workshops and hearings where residents can voice their concerns and share matters of importance. Review the Calendar on the Town website for upcoming Budget Workshops.
How the Town Budget Affects Residents
Budget development for the Town directly affects you and your day-to-day life. For instance, many of the services often taken for granted, such as turning on streetlights, drinking out of a water faucet, trash collection, parking, and police services are all covered in the town budget. Essentially, the budget factors in how much residents will pay and what kind of services they will receive in return.
The largest source of funding comes from property taxes. It is important to note that almost 80% of residents’ property bill go to other entities such as Miami-Dade County and the Miami-Dade School Board, with only about 20% going to the Town.
Why Resort Taxes Help
Surfside is one of only three municipalities in Miami-Dade County currently eligible by Florida State Law to collect resort tax. As a result of tourism revenue, the town is able to hold down property taxes. Sixty-six percent of the tourist tax is utilized to fully fund the operations of the Community Center, as well as other programs and projects that benefit the residents, thus lessening the tax burden on Town residents.
For further information on the Resort Tax and how it works, please refer to: Resort Tax FAQs
Setting Utility Bill Rates
During budget preparations, one of the most frequently asked questions by residents is how the rates for utility bills are set. It is important to note the Town purchases its water from Miami-Dade County. Therefore, Surfside does not control the rates.
Furthermore, Surfside sends its sewage for treatment to the City of Miami Beach, which controls the rates of this service. Similar to the water bill, Surfside residents are charged accordingly to pay for the fees.
Dedicated to continually enhancing quality of life, Surfside also provides residents with garbage pick-up five days a week, whereby most cities only pick up garbage twice a week. As a consequence, the garbage bills in Surfside are higher than they would be at a service level that is less.
The State of Surfside’s Finances
Due to the proactive planning and fiscal responsibility of our local government, Surfside is currently in good financial shape with healthy reserves in the general fund. This means that in the event of an emergency or natural disaster, such as the current coronavirus pandemic or a major hurricane, Surfside would be well-equipped to temporarily weather the storm.
View FY 2020 Budget
To view the FY 2020 Budget, visit the Town website.
View a Fiscal Year 2020 Finance Orientation Presentation by Jason Greene, Finance Director for the Town of Surfside