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Financial Problems Revealed in Lauderdale Lakes

The financial crisis in the the city of Lauderdale Lakes is even worse than we knew.

And residents may see their taxes increase by one-third to make up the shortfall.

According to a report from the city manager, not only does the city owe millions to the Broward Sheriff's Office for law enforcement and fire services, but the city faces an additional budget shortfall of at least $4.6 million.

To balance the budget, the city manager wants the city commission to approve a steep tax increase on residents.

Property taxes, the fire rescue fee and the fee for bond service would be increased next year. According to the city manager, in 2012. a person with a $150,000 home with $50,000 in homestead exemptions would pay 1,344.44 in city taxes, an increase of $366.55.

City Commissioners have already voted to fire workers.

They will consider the city manager's plan at a special meeting on Thursday night.

The city manager warns that "in spite of all our efforts to eliminate positions and reduce spending, we will not end this fiscal year with a balanced budget."

City officials might be forced to notify the state of crisis and there are several options the state could take. Those options could include the state taking control of the city's finance department, giving the city a loan or the city could cease to exist.


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