First Public Budget Hearing: September 7, 2022

First Public Budget Hearing: September 7, 2022

First Public Budget Hearing FY-22-23
September 7, 2022
5:01 PM

TRUSTEES: Marybeth Cunningham Kerry Bartlett
Karen Deigl Barb Bodnar
Ann Marie McCrystal Allen Jones – via Zoom

STAFF: Ann Marie Suriano Jennifer Frederick
Kate Voss Jennifer Peshke, Esq.
Dawn Carboni

ATTENDEES: William Cooney Pat Knipper
Linda Kloss

Convene Meeting – Marybeth Cunningham, Chairwoman IRCHD

Mrs. Cunningham convened the first public budget hearing of the Indian River County Hospital District (“IRCHD”) at 5:01 p.m. She explained that the only business that will take place is the discussion on the fiscal year 2022-2023, and approving that tentative budget. The final budget hearing, where a final millage rate and overall ad valorem budget will be adopted will take place on September 22nd at 5:01 PM.

Review of the July 21, 2022 Proposed FY 2022-2022 Budget Information – Allen Jones, Treasurer

Mr. Jones addressed the board and stated that there is a formal process to be followed and began by discussing the percentage change in millage rate versus the rolled back rate. He explained that on July 21, 2022, the Trustees adopted a proposed millage rate decrease of 10.27% as a percentage of the rolled back rate, which provided an ad valorem tax of $13,507,002. That resulted in a reduction of millage rate from .7144 to .5774, which is a millage reduction of 19.2%. He further explained that because taxable property assessments in the county increased about 11%, the District would need to tax .6435 to have the same ad valorem tax revenue as the current fiscal year, i.e. the rolled back rate. Since the July 21st meeting the Trustees have had several opportunities to review funding request submitted from local healthcare agencies to provide healthcare to the public. After many discussions between the Trustees since the July meeting, the budget being presented tonight is lower than the budget approved in July. Therefore, he stated that the current proposal is a millage rate of .5537, which as a percent of the rolled-back rate is a reduction of 13.95%, and this millage will result in a reduction in ad valorem tax revenue of $1,774,922.

Purpose of Ad Valorem Tax Revenues

Next Mr. Jones discussed specific purposes for which the ad valorem tax revenues are being decreased. He explained that despite a reduction in ad valorem tax revenues of almost $1.8 million, District healthcare program expenditures will increase by $1,530,614, an increase of 13.5% over the current fiscal year. In addition, administrative expenses are proposed to increase by $265,800. Inflation has had an impact on each of the organizations the District supports as well as on the District, which has resulted in an increase to administrative costs. Despite these pressures, the proposed budget reduces the ad valorem tax burden significantly and increased funding for healthcare services to the residents of Indian River County. He asked for Trustee comments and Ms. Cunningham stated that most property owners received their TRIM notices this past week and in reviewing the same, it was noted that the Hospital District is the only taxing authority that is lowering it millage rate. Mr. Jones added that over the last several years the District has continued to lower its millage rate, while still fully supporting the funding requests brought to them each year.

Adoption of Tentative FY 2022-2023 Budget – Allen Jones, Treasurer

There was no further Trustee discussion and Mr. Jones asked for public comment, which there was none. Therefore, he asked for a motion to adopt a millage rate of .5537, which was made by Ms. Bodnar and seconded by Ms. Cunningham. The motion was open for Trustee discussion and Mr. Jones made an amended motion to adopt a millage rate of .5110. Ms. Peshke indicated that a second would need to be made on the amended motion in order for it to carry into discussion and Ms. Bartlett seconded the motion. Mr. Jones stated that some of the program expenditures for this fiscal year are now projected to be lower than originally anticipated. Combined with reducing some of the agency’s funding request, these effects resulted in an increase in reserves to $8,150,000, despite the reduction in millage rate. He explained that he feels this amount of reserves is excessive to the District’s needs, and proposed that $950,000 of reserves be returned to tax payers resulting in reserves held by the District to be the same as last year, at $7.2 million. Therefore, this change would result in a new proposed millage rate of .5110, a decrease of 20.59% as a percent of the rolled back rate, and a reduction in ad valorem tax revenue of $2,774,291 to $11,954,636. He further explained that this reduction will not affect program expenditures or administrative expenditures and the only difference is a reduction in reserves maintained from $8.15 million to $7.2 million, which are the same as this current fiscal year. There was no further Trustee discussion and Ms. Peshke called the question and the amended motion carried unanimously.

Next Mr. Jones asked for a motion to adopt the overall ad valorem budget of $11,954,636, which was made by Ms. Deigl and seconded by Ms. Cunningham. Mr. Jones asked for Trustee and public comment and there was none. The motion carried unanimously. Lastly, Mr. Jones announced that the millage rate as a percent of the rolled back rate is a reduction of 20.59%. He congratulated the Trustees on their work this budget cycle.

Public Comment & Adjourn

There was no further public comment and the meeting was adjourned at 5:15 PM.