2020-2021: The Covid Budget

Coral Gables has always prided itself on fiscal responsibility and a balanced budget, one reason why the city is routinely given AAA bond ratings from all three ratings agencies. This past year has been a challenge, with the pandemic sharply reducing city revenues and creating an $8.2 million shortfall. Next year that shortfall is projected to be even greater, at $12.6 million.

The city has responded with a hiring freeze on vacant positions (other than police, fire and communications), a freeze on non-essential expenditures, and deferments of select capital projects. The result: A balanced budget with “little to no cuts to resident services,” says Assistant Finance Director Keith Kleiman, who masterminded the methodology of the cuts. “We created a budget for everything we think citizens will need for the next fiscal year, and we did our best to conservatively project revenues.”  The key, says Kleiman, was to not touch the city’s “rainy day fund” of $37 million, which it keeps for real emergencies. The result is the 2020-2021 budget, depicted below.

Covid Budget

Budget Revenues by Source

Property Taxes$89.5 million$92.3 million
Other Taxes$21.5 million$20.2 million
Licenses & Permits$11.3 million$10.4 million
Waste & Parking fees$10.9 million$5.2 million
Recreation fees$4.5 million$4 million
Investment earnings$3.1 million$0.5 million
All other fees$18 million$15 million
TOTAL$201.9 million$186.3 million

Budget Expenditure by Function

Public Safety$141.1 million$82 million*
Public Works$54.7 million$42.7 million*
General Government$49.5 million$40.3 million
Transportation$43.4 million$19.6 million*
Culture & Recreation$30.1 million$17.9 million*
Economic Dev.$5.6 million$2.9 million
TOTAL$324.5 million$205.6 million
*These drop offs reflect the completion of various municipal construction, such as the new public safety building and the new trolley building, not staff reductions.