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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Activists pushing Pinellas for tax cuts



Dr. David McKalip, who has a bit of history getting attention, is pushing for conservative activists to turn out big Tuesday to push the Pinellas County Commission to scuttle plans for a tax rate increase for EMS service.

According to email sent by McKalip -- a message that includes former Commissioner Calvin Harris among its officials that people should email -- the group plans to protest at 2 p.m. prior to the 3 p.m. meeting. That meet is when the commission is slated to consider a round budget cuts. Some of those could test the strength of the recently conservative swing of the board after recent elections.

For example, Commissioner Norm Roche (the guy who beat Harris in 2010) has proposed cutting a $500,000 increase for health care for needy people, and eliminate $200,000 for the utilities fluoridization of water.

McKalip and company are fighting an EMS increase of 46 percent in a system with spiraling cost problems. However, the email also says the county has far more money that it did a "few years ago," though the budget is actually $360 smaller than it was in 2008. (Excerpts after the jump).

From the email:

"The County Administrator wants the County Commissioners to Markedly Increase the EMS Property Taxes. (according to his proposed 2012 budget)
"An additional $12.3 million!


The county still has FAR more money than they did a few years ago and need to cut more before thinking about raising taxes.


Here are some ideas in case the county bureaucrats are fresh out.


Cut Administrative Costs for Sunstar, EMS authority and EMS.


Restructure Sunstar contract or get a better bid from another company.


Turn the services over to the cities.


The County should stop paying for an Ambulance AND an EMS Truck to go to an emergency and should have the City’s EMT’s transport the patients to the hospital. They are more than qualified.


Fees should go up for people who make "Nuisance" calls that don’t require an ambulance or EMS – but want a free ride to the hospital.


The County should cut government worker benefits down to the same that the "ordinary citizens" have.


Cut Corporate Welfare.


Quit planning for pie and the sky rail and transit that are useless and cost more than they earn.


Cut failed social welfare programs.

[Last modified: Monday, August 22, 2011 11:17am]


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