Manatee County approves $2.4 billion budget
BRADENTON, Fla. (WWSB) - Manatee County Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved next year’s budget that will lower property taxes and increase spending for transportation projects and parks.
Commissioners approved the total annual gross budget of nearly $2.4 billion and net spending budget of more than $1.072 billion while also managing to cut the property tax rate for the second straight year.
Also approved was the largest five-year Capital Improvement Plan in Manatee County’s history, totaling more than $2.3 billion in investments in infrastructure, public safety, parks and the environment. The county is investing $435 million in transportation projects, $132 million in parks and $48 million in public safety projects.
Even with the millage rate reduction to 6.2326, the budget invests heavily in local infrastructure improvements. Over $435 million in transportation and road projects, plus significant investments in public safety and law enforcement highlight the $1.2 billion CIP budget. The adopted budget also includes workforce investments to respond to increased capital projects workloads and service levels. Some of the 55 new positions include:
- Five new 9-1-1 emergency telecommunicators;
- Six new positions in the Development Services Department to respond to increased demand for development review and building inspection services;
- Seventeen new library staff positions as the new Lakewood Ranch Library is scheduled to be completed in September 2023;
- Two Guardian ad Litem positions, including one case manager and an attorney.
The new spending plan will address the second phase of the County’s aggressive cybersecurity initiative with $3 million in funding earmarked to make county data more secure and prevent potential cyber threats.
“Maintaining the security is vital,” said County Administrator Scott Hopes. “As is continuing our rapid pace of improvements across the county. We are getting a lot of things done.”
The largest one-year investment in the budget remains in the areas of law enforcement and public safety. Manatee County Sheriff Rick Wells’ annual budget of $172 million was fully funded.
“This shows our high priority on citizens’ and visitors’ safety,” Hopes said. “In partnership with Sheriff (Rick) Wells, we have made investments to meet the safety needs of our rapidly growing population.”
For more information on Manatee County Government, visit mymanatee.org or call (941) 748-4501.
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