Palm Beach County has instituted an Inspector General Program designed to eliminate fraud, waste, mismanagement, misconduct or abuse from county and municipal governments. While municipalities across the county support this concept, the funding for this 3.5 million dollar program comes from taxpayers, and those living in municipalities in Palm Beach County would be taxed twice. To protect our residents, the 15 municipalities intend to participate in a lawsuit against Palm Beach County asking the circuit court to determine our rights and declare the funding for the inspector general program unlawful. The municipalities believe the funding mechanism for the program is unlawful for multiple reasons:
(1)Municipal residents already pay for the inspector general’s services through their county tax bill, but have to pay again through their municipal tax bill meaning they pay for the same service twice;
(2)It is a tax not authorized by general law;
(3)Municipalities have no lawful means to collect the charges through vendor contracts; (4)Municipalities have no lawful means to collect the charges through special assessments on vendor contracts;
(5)There is no legal authority for calculating a municipality’s share based on municipal expenses.
In order to be lawful, the municipalities believe that the inspector general program funding should be handled like funding for all of the other countywide programs meaning the County would pay for the program in its entirety. Each city and unincorporated county taxpayer would pay for the inspector general’s services in a lawful manner, the county would retain control over its budget responsibilities, and the municipalities would retain control over their budget responsibilities.
Participating Municipalities include:
TOWN OF GULF STREAM
VILLAGE OF TEQUESTA
CITY OF RIVIERA BEACH
TOWN OF JUPITER
CITY OF DELRAY BEACH
TOWN OF PALM BEACH SHORES
TOWN OF MANALAPAN
VILLAGE OF WELLINGTON
TOWN OF MANGONIA PARK
CITY OF PALM BEACH GARDENS
TOWN OF HIGHLAND BEACH
TOWN OF LAKE PARK
CITY OF WEST PALM BEACH
TOWN OF OCEAN RIDGE
CITY OF BOCA RATON
The municipalities are united in their support to eliminate fraud, waste and abuse for local governments but also support the concept that funding for any program must be accomplished in a fair manner that does not result in taxing citizens twice.