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Monday, August 23, 2021

City Council work session to discuss $891 million Ocala budget

The City of Ocala will host a public work session to review a preliminary presentation of the city’s $890 million budget for the upcoming fiscal year. 

The session will will be held tomorrow, August 24 at 12 p.m. at Ocala City Hall (110 SE Watula Avenue). The event will also be live-streamed through the City of Ocala website. 

The work session will provide an extensive breakdown of the funds managed by the city, including utilities, sanitation, and the Ocala International Airport, among many others. 

According to city records, the city’s budget for the upcoming 2021-2022 fiscal year is just under $891 million ($890,997,121). The general fund sits just above $128 million, according to the preliminary report.

Around 28% of the general fund, or about $35,000,000, will be used for police services and 16%, or about $20,000,000, will be used for fire services, according to the report. 

The proposed budget for next year will include $71,685,722 in salaries and benefits to all departments.  

The report gives additional details on the 1% sales surtax (“Penny Sales Tax”) and its allocation. The tax provides for a 60% apportionment to infrastructure improvements, a 20% apportionment to the Ocala Police Department and a 20% apportionment to Ocala Fire Rescue.

After the workshop, the budget will be read into public record over the coming weeks.

The first reading of the budget will take place at the Ocala City Council meeting on September 14.

The second reading will take place during the council’s second meeting of the month, on September 28. Both meetings will take place at 5 p.m. at Ocala City Hall, which is located at 110 SE Watula Avenue.