Orlando city leaders hold budget hearings

Proposed budget worth $424 million

Orlando city leaders are asking for the public's input on how next fiscal year's budget should be spent.

"For the most part, it's a continuation budget," Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said.

According to the proposal, more than $424 million is in the general fund for the new fiscal year 2016-2017 budget. The money is broken down and divided between city services, like parks and recreation and infrastructure, with majority of the taxpayer dollars going to public safety.

"About 60% of our general funds go to either OFD or OPD," Dyer said.

Dyer says investing in the fire and police departments is necessary to keep Orlando safe, especially in light of what happened three months ago at the Pulse nightclub.

"I think June 12th showed why it's important that we invest in technology and training," he said. "We have to make sure that we have the tools and technology and training to have the best equipped, best trained, best personnel on both of our fire departments and Orlando Police Department."

The proposed budget has an additional $22 million in the general fund compared to last year. Dyer says that money is not coming from higher taxes. He tells News 6 the property tax rates are staying the same, but property values are going up and that is why the city has more money this year.

"There's also a lot of new constructions that's also come onto the books," Dyer said.

Dyer says the proposed budget is similar to last year's. He adds the city's finances are in good standing.

"You should be excited that we're able to hold the millage rate the same and also provide the same high-quality municipal services that we've always had," Dyer said. "Their city is in probably the best financial shape of any major city in the state of Florida."

The City of Orlando is holding another public hearing on the proposed budget on Monday, Sept. 26.

After that meeting, city leaders will vote on the proposed budget. If it passes, it will go into effect starting on Oct. 1.


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