Wilton Manors Commissioners put the finishing touches on a $48.5 million budget for the fiscal year, which began Oct. 1.
Commissioners unanimously approved the 2022-23 budget at a special meeting on Oct. 3. A final operational millage rate of 5.8360 was approved on a 4 to 1 vote with outgoing commissioner Gary Resnick the lone dissenter.
“If we don’t lower the millage rate now with all those funds that we have coming in, with all the additional revenue that we have coming in, when are we ever going to be able to do it?” asked Resnick, who attended the meeting via telephone.
The average single-family home with homestead exemptions will see an increase in ad valorem taxes of $42.11 and $17.79 for condos, said City Manager Leigh Ann Henderson.
Mayor Scott Newton defended the millage rate and promised a lower budget next year.
Newton said salary increases and infrastructure upgrades could not be put off any longer.
“We say, ‘Life’s Just Better Here,’ well it’s not if we keep neglecting some of the things we have the last two years,” Newton said. “Now’s the time to do this, to get it done and get it done right.”
Boyd Corbin, Newton’s challenger in the mayoral election, derided multiple commissioners during the public comments portion of the meeting and alleged, without evidence, the city has let sewage run into the streets.
“My neighbor’s toilets and shower drains spewed out sewage last June causing $15,000 in damage,” Corbin said. “The city was fined again by the DEP. Let’s just fix our sewer system. We should take the steroids from the cops and give them to our utility workers.”