Pinellas budget dives 17% for 2010
Pinellas County Administrator Bob LaSala is unveiling a proposed annual budget this morning of $1.66 billion, a $340 million drop -- 17 percent -- from a year ago.
"We have proposed elimination of some programs, and significant reductions in many others, not because they were not worthwhile but because we must refocus our efforts on what we can afford," LaSala says in his budget message to the County Commission.
He just told commissioners that a previous $7.8 million shortfall that remained from the $85 million in total cuts needed was eliminated by tapping into funds the county had set aside to have a cushion in next year's budget.
LaSala had sought to have a $15 million fund, but the proposed budget includes $7.2 million. County officials and Sheriff Jim Coats had sparred over making deeper cuts to his agency to reach a goal of $85 million in cuts and create the $15 million fund.
The countywide property tax rate will stay the same.
David DeCamp, Times staff writer