CAPE CORAL, Fla. — On Thursday, news at the final public hearing for the city of Cape Coral's 2022 budget was that an additional meeting would be added for September 29.
Councilmember Tom Hayden told Fox 4 there will be another meeting next Wednesday to finalize decisions.
Hayden saying the city clerk felt Thursday's meeting was not advertised sufficiently enough to the public.
On Thursday, Hayden said the council was expected to lower the property tax rate from 6.375 mills to 6.25.
“What the lower tax rate does is taking it from 6.37 to 6.25 is you will get a little bit of a break in your property taxes probably 30 or 40 dollars this year (2021),” said Hayden.
As for the city of Cape Coral, Hayden says this means a decrease of 2.2 million dollars for the general budget, but the city would still receive over $8 million more in property tax revenue over last year, thanks to growing property valuations.
Hayden told Fox 4 he preferred to save the reduced tax rate for next year.
Especially with the city looking to hire additional first responders like firefighters.
“We have 18 coming on next year, and 15 the year after that, we have 15 new police officers coming on and we are trying to get to 50,” he said.
Hayden says public safety is a core value for the city council but thinks there could be some issues stocking the police and fire station.
“So we can partially fund them next year but when next year’s budget cycle rolls around we are going to have to figure out a way to fully fund them,” he said.
In order to work around the budget constraints, Cape Coral City Council will stagger its hiring throughout the year instead of all at once.
The final meeting for the city council budget will be on Wednesday, September 29.