Facing big revenue drop, WPB uses technology, internal efficiencies to reduce costs
City of West Palm Beach Mayor Lois J. Frankel’s proposed fiscal year 2011 budget rolls back spending without increasing the tax rate for property owners. Despite a large drop in revenues, the budget holds the line on property taxes, featuring the same property tax rate (millage) as last year. Total general fund spending will revert back to 2006 levels. The City does not dip into its reserves.
“The City of West Palm Beach is doing what our residents are doing, tightening our belt. There will be no increase in our millage rate. That means that most taxpayers will see a reduction in the amount of property tax paid to the City. Our focus on new technology and consolidation of departments has allowed us to shrink personnel while maintaining quality service delivery,” said Mayor Lois Frankel. The new efficiencies include an around the clock call center centralizing customer service, sanitation trucks with robotic-arms, paperless filing of documents, and the consolidation of Community Events with Parks and Recreation.
The proposed $169 million budget contains no raises for city workers. 55 employees took advantage of a voluntary separation program shaving millions off City expenses. There were no involuntary layoffs in public safety.