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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Iorio will review budget issues with Tampa City Council



Mayor Pam Iorio is set to meet with the Tampa City Council on Monday at 3 p.m. to set the stage for the 2011 budget. And once again, it will be more bad news. Since 2007, the city has seen a $28.5 million drop in income from property taxes. Early estimates suggest the city will face another $9.6 million drop in property tax revenue next year. The continually shrinking budget means city staff will continue to shrink, Iorio said. And that's not likely to change even when the economy turns around and property tax values start rising. "These losses are permanent," Iorio sad. Why? State-mandated property tax reform caps growth of city budgets at a rate generally lower than the increase in costs to pay for benefits, like health care and pensions. So even if property tax values skyrocket, local governments won't be able to reap the benefits. Meanwhile, residents complain about a decline in city services and increased fees. State elected officials, Iorio said, need to revisit the property tax issue.

"This was a mistake," Iorio said. “I hope after November when there is a new governor and the new lesiglature is seated that there is a fresh look at the punitive measures that a previous legislature put together."

Janet Zink, Times Staff Writer

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 12:25pm]


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