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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

St. Pete mayor proposes elimininating 51 jobs



ST. PETERSBURG -- Mayor Rick Baker is proposing the elimination of 51 jobs from next year's city budget.

Most of those jobs are already vacant. Of the 19 filled positions, most employees will retire or placed in a new job. No one will be fired.

Baker also is proposing the elimination of a tax on small businesses.

"Although development of this budget was marked by a difficult transition for our government," said Baker in a prepared statement, "we began planning several years ago to address the anticipated results of national and statewide economic and budgetary trends during which we have gone from a period of substantial and extraordinary growth in taxable property values to the current rapid decline in these values.''

The city kept its property tax rate at $5.9125 for every $1,000 dollars of taxable assessed value. It's the lowest rate in 30 years, Baker said.

Eliminating the employee tax for businesses with 30 or fewer employees would help 4,700 local businesses, Baker said, saving each between $12 and $360 a year, depending on the number of employees ($12 per employee).

The proposed budget freezes spending on the arts and social services at current levels.

City Council will hold a budget workshop July 10 followed by a 6 p.m. public forum that day.

-Cristina Silva, Times staff writer


[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:29am]


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