Marco Council to explore ordinance adding requirement for major capital projects

Devan Patel
Marco Eagle
Jared Grifoni

Looking to mirror the state legislature and put in additional safeguards against “hasty” or “factional” spending, the Marco Island City Council will explore the creation of an ordinance that requires a supermajority vote for major capital expenditures.

At the request of Councilor Jared Grifoni, the City Council will allow him to work with City Attorney Alan Gabriel on an ordinance that would require a supermajority vote for any capital expenditure at a cost above 10 percent of the average of the last four years of general fund tax revenue.

“Marco Islanders have demonstrated consistent support for fiscal conservative values both in budgeting and statewide and federal elections,” Grifoni said. 

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Grifoni said the average of the last four years of general fund local tax revenue would likely equate to a figure between $1.8 and $2 million. The reason an average is used is to account for any major fluctuations that could take place with the revenue stream.

In a white paper presented to the City Council last Thursday, Grifoni cited attitudes of local voters on key issues over last few years.

Just recently, the voters rejected the referendum that would have established local EMS services. The cost of the locally run department would have equated to roughly 10 percent of tax revenue that year.

For the majority of the Councilors currently on the dais, they also ran on a platform of establishing the tax-rate at roll-back.

Grifoni also said that 83 percent of Marco Island registered voters supported Amendment 5, which required the legislature to obtain at least a two-thirds vote for new taxes and fees or any increases to existing ones.

As part of Grifoni’s proposal, it was also added that a supermajority, or five votes from the City Council, would be required to appeal the ordinance.

Councilor Victor Rios, who voiced his support for the ordinance, said that while he was campaigning, he knocked on nearly 2,000 doors and one of the topics brought up were concerns over raising taxes.