Bob Buckhorn to host video town hall meeting via Facebook
TAMPA -- Mayor Bob Buckhorn will host a video town hall meeting via Facebook from 7 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. Tuesday. The virtual meeting -- Buckhorn's first as mayor -- will focus on the city's budget for the 2011-12 fiscal year. The city is encouraging people who want to participate to submit questions ahead of time or to sign on and ask questions live during the videocast. Questions can be submitted via Facebook, Twitter, or email.
To watch the videocast live, visit the city of Tampa Facebook page at http://on.fb.me/CityofTampa and click the "shows" tab under the city logo.
Buckhorn is proposing a $765.4 million budget, a $34.7 million decrease from this year.
The city's property tax rate would remain unchanged at $5.73 in taxes for every $1,000 of assessed, taxable value. After standard exemptions, the average homeowner would pay $613 in city taxes. A proposed increase in the city's franchise fee for Tampa Electric would cost the utility's city customers another $1.50 per month on their power bills.
The proposed budget does not include layoffs, but would eliminate 21 vacant positions. It includes $2 million in new revenue from a stepped-up effort to collect unpaid EMS bills and code enforcement fines and another $2 million from red-light traffic enforcement cameras that are expected to go into operation in November. It also would use $6 million of the $102 million in reserves that former Mayor Pam Iorio built up during her eight years in office.
The council has scheduled public hearings on the budget for 5:01 p.m. on Sept. 7 and Sept. 21. Once approved, the new budget will run from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30, 2012.