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Pension changes, smaller raises will help secure town's financial future

Municipalities, counties and state governments all over the country are coming to the realization that they may have given away too much of the store to their employees, especially in the area of pension benefits.

This is the position Palm Beach finds itself in. If projections are accurate, the town would realize deficits beginning in 2012.

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Financial forecast proposal would offset budget deficits through 2017

Town Manager Peter Elwell this week released a 10-year financial forecast that would wipe out a string of projected budget deficits from fiscal year 2012 through 2017 and replace them with surpluses.

It would dramatically reduce, though not eliminate, deficits expected in fiscal years 2018, 2019 and 2020.

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Shore Protection Board Meeting Summary 1-22-10

Inlet Dredging to Go On Beach in the Future
It was reported that even though the Town of Palm Beach has worked out arrangements with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers and the dredging contractor to take dredged sand from the Lake Worth Inlet and place it either directly on the beach or in the near-shore littoral current, the current sand deposits in the inlet are less than 5,000 cu. yards so the USACOE will not return to dredge for now.

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Florida Senator Introduces Balance Budget / Line-Item Veto Constitutional Amendment

WASHINGTON - Local and national taxes and government spending are one of the top issues for residents in the Town of Palm Beach. U.S. Senator George LeMieux (R-FL), who is serving out the term of retired Senator Mel Martinez, spoke last week on the floor of the U.S. Senate about his proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution requiring Congress to balance the federal budget. The proposed amendment also provides the President of the United States with the power of a line-item veto in order to reduce or eliminate earmark projects. Below is Senator LeMieux's letter to taxpayers in Florida:

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Tax Revolters Fail to Show at County Budget Hearing

TOWN OF PALM BEACH GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVES & CIVIC ASSOCIATION ATTEND

A packed house told Palm Beach County Commissioners to raise taxes and keep services on Tuesday night.  Special interests from Drug Farm alumni to the Cultural Council urged retention of key County programs and County Commissioners agreed voting 5-2 to adopt a budget that could saddle many residents with a tax increase of 15%.

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Property Tax Revolt!

Given the current economic conditions and the fact that market values for property are depressed, this is not the time to increase the millage rate or raise taxes.

Several reports and organizations are saying the same thing: Oppose tax increases!

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Pension Expert Seeks Input

Town of Palm Beach contributions to the employees’ retirement system are projected to double to $14.1 million in 2015 when pensions will account for 30 percent of the Town’s payroll.  A pension consultant has been retained by the Town Council to provide new options for funding the retirement program. Residents are invited to email ideas and suggestions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Palm Beach Property Owners May See a Rise in Taxes

Preliminary Palm Beach County property tax notices show a tentative increase in the tax rate.  See chart. 

In Palm Beach County, about 46 percent of residential property owners will pay more in property taxes next year under the preliminary rates.  Twenty-four of the 36 county municipalities have tentatively approved rate hikes. Seven others have agreed to leave their rates flat, including the Town of Palm Beach.  Five have agreed to lower their rates.

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HOW TO FILE A PROPERTY TAX APPEAL

PROPERTY TAX APPEALS EXPECTED TO INCREASE BY 21 PERCENT
Taxpayers Can Petition the Value Adjustment Board Online Using Clerk & Comptroller’s Convenient myVAB

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