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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Title XII
MUNICIPALITIES
Chapter 166
MUNICIPALITIES
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F.S. 166.241
166.241 Fiscal years, budgets, appeal of municipal law enforcement agency budget, and budget amendments.
(1) Each municipality shall establish a fiscal year beginning October 1 of each year and ending September 30 of the following year.
(2) The governing body of each municipality shall adopt a budget each fiscal year. The budget must be adopted by ordinance or resolution unless otherwise specified in the respective municipality’s charter. The amount available from taxation and other sources, including balances brought forward from prior fiscal years, must equal the total appropriations for expenditures and reserves. At a minimum, the adopted budget must show for each fund, as required by law and sound financial practices, budgeted revenues and expenditures by organizational unit which are at least at the level of detail required for the annual financial report under s. 218.32(1). The adopted budget must regulate expenditures of the municipality, and an officer of a municipal government may not expend or contract for expenditures in any fiscal year except pursuant to the adopted budget.
(3) The tentative budget must be posted on the municipality’s official website at least 2 days before the budget hearing, held pursuant to s. 200.065 or other law, to consider such budget and must remain on the website for at least 45 days. The final adopted budget must be posted on the municipality’s official website within 30 days after adoption and must remain on the website for at least 2 years. If the municipality does not operate an official website, the municipality must, within a reasonable period of time as established by the county or counties in which the municipality is located, transmit the tentative budget and final budget to the manager or administrator of such county or counties who shall post the budgets on the county’s website.
(4)(a) If the tentative budget of a municipality contains a funding reduction to the operating budget of the municipal law enforcement agency of more than 5 percent compared to the current fiscal year’s approved operating budget, the state attorney for the judicial circuit in which the municipality is located or a member of the governing body may file a petition with the Division of Administrative Hearings pursuant to s. 120.569 requesting a hearing to challenge the reduction in the municipal law enforcement agency’s proposed operating budget. The petition must be filed with the division within 10 days after the day the tentative budget is posted to the official website of the municipality under subsection (3), and the petitioner must serve a copy of the petition on the affected municipality. The petition must set forth the tentative budget proposed by the municipality and the operating budget of the municipal law enforcement agency as approved by the municipality for the previous year and must state the reasons or grounds for the petition.
(b) The governing body of the municipality must file an answer with the division and must serve a copy of the answer on the petitioner within 5 days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays, after receipt of service of the petition.
(5)(a) Upon receipt of the petition, the division must assign an administrative law judge to conduct a hearing no later than 20 days after the petition is filed, at which the matters presented in the petition and the answer must be considered. Notwithstanding s. 120.57, all proceedings under this subsection must be conducted by an administrative law judge assigned by the division.
(b) At the hearing, the petitioner and the municipality may present all information relevant to the municipal law enforcement agency’s budgetary needs and requirements, including, but not limited to:
1. The proposed operating budget approved by the municipality;
2. The municipality’s grounds for proposing a reduction in funding to the current fiscal year’s law enforcement operating budget;
3. The petitioner’s grounds for challenging the proposed reduction in funding to the law enforcement operating budget;
4. The operating budgets of other public entities in the municipality;
5. The operating budgets of other law enforcement agencies in municipalities that are of comparable size;
6. The municipal law enforcement agency’s staffing needs and budgetary requirements from the current fiscal year and the 2 previous fiscal years;
7. The draft municipal law enforcement agency operating budget, budget amendments, and budget meeting minutes from the current fiscal year and the 2 previous fiscal years;
8. The revenue and projected revenue available to the municipality and any change in the amount of revenue collected over the previous 3 fiscal years; and
9. Any other information relevant to the municipal law enforcement agency’s operating budget.
(6)(a) Within 15 days after the hearing, the administrative law judge must issue a final order either approving or rejecting the proposed operating budget for the municipal law enforcement agency by determining whether the proposed reduction will impair the law enforcement agency’s overall ability to ensure public safety. In making the determination, the administrative law judge must make findings regarding whether the funding reduction in the proposed operating budget of the municipal law enforcement agency will result in:
1. A reduction of the number of law enforcement officers employed by the municipality;
2. A reduction or an elimination of public safety programs or initiatives provided by the agency; and
3. A lack of appropriate equipment necessary to ensure officer safety.
(b) The administrative law judge’s final order is appealable pursuant to s. 120.68, and any such judicial review must be sought in the First District Court of Appeal.
(7) By each October 15, the municipal budget officer shall electronically submit the following information regarding the final budget and the municipality’s economic status to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research in the format specified by the office:
(a) Government spending per resident, including, at a minimum, the spending per resident for the previous 5 fiscal years.
(b) Government debt per resident, including, at a minimum, the debt per resident for the previous 5 fiscal years.
(c) Average municipal employee salary.
(d) Median income within the municipality.
(e) Number of special taxing districts wholly or partially within the municipality.
(f) Percent of budget spent on salaries and benefits for municipal employees.
(g) Annual municipal expenditures providing for the financing, acquisition, construction, reconstruction, or rehabilitation of housing that is affordable, as that term is defined in s. 420.0004. The reported expenditures must indicate the source of such funds as “federal,” “state,” “local,” or “other,” as applicable. This information must be included in the submission due by October 15, 2020, and each annual submission thereafter.
(8) The governing body of each municipality at any time within a fiscal year or within 60 days following the end of the fiscal year may amend a budget for that year as follows:
(a) Appropriations for expenditures within a fund may be decreased or increased by motion recorded in the minutes if the total appropriations of the fund is not changed.
(b) The governing body may establish procedures by which the designated budget officer may authorize budget amendments if the total appropriations of the fund is not changed.
(c) If a budget amendment is required for a purpose not specifically authorized in paragraph (a) or paragraph (b), the budget amendment must be adopted in the same manner as the original budget unless otherwise specified in the municipality’s charter.
(9) If the governing body of a municipality amends the budget pursuant to paragraph (8)(c), the adopted amendment must be posted on the official website of the municipality within 5 days after adoption and must remain on the website for at least 2 years. If the municipality does not operate an official website, the municipality must, within a reasonable period of time as established by the county or counties in which the municipality is located, transmit the adopted amendment to the manager or administrator of such county or counties who shall post the adopted amendment on the county’s website.
History.s. 1, ch. 73-129; s. 4, ch. 83-106; s. 6, ch. 96-324; s. 14, ch. 2004-305; s. 11, ch. 2011-144; s. 8, ch. 2019-15; s. 2, ch. 2019-56; s. 7, ch. 2020-27; s. 1, ch. 2021-6; s. 3, ch. 2023-156.