Budgetary Improvements in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Florida

The city manager of Dania Beach, Florida, Robert Baldwin previously served as the town manager of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Florida. During his tenure, Robert Baldwin implemented administrative reforms to the town’s financial reporting, which earned him positive coverage by the Sun Sentinel (http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1997-12-21/community/9712171223_1_town-s-finances-town-hall-town-commission). He subsequently proposed a budget that would improve the town’s economy, including certain strategic investments and tax cuts.

Following the annexation of a condominium complex, the resort town of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea recognized an opportunity to better the quality of life for its citizens. The purchase of Sea Ranch Lakes condominiums in unincorporated Broward County increased the town’s population by 1,800 people, its tax base by nearly 60 percent, and its total taxable value to $428 million.

These changes led Baldwin to issue a proposal that would cut taxes by almost 20 percent and allow Lauderdale-by-the-Sea to levy some of the lowest tax rates in Broward County. Under his budget, home owners would have to pay $3.85 per $1,000 of taxable assessed property value rather than the previous amount of $4.85. Yet even with lower taxes, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea would still be able to fund a budget $818,000 greater than the previous year’s. The new money would be used to hire a part-time parking meter repair professional and two new police officers. Moreover, the town would retain money for further annexation projects.