Have ideas on county budget? Fill out survey
Residents have until midnight Tuesday to complete an online citizens survey that county officials will take into account when making decisions about the upcoming budget. Pasco County is also accepting written responses to the survey, which may be dropped off at any Pasco library. The survey asks about everything from how safe residents feel in their neighborhoods to how residents think the county should spend its money. The county recently launched a community outreach campaign, "Bringing Opportunities Home." The survey can be found at the top of the county Web page at BringingOpportunities Home.com.
Decision on school grant plan delayed
The Pasco County School Board delayed its expected decision to participate in the state's Race to the Top grant proposal on Tuesday, lacking a recommendation from superintendent Heather Fiorentino. She is out of the country. Fiorentino has taken vacation time to travel to Sweden, a trip that district officials stressed is not costing taxpayers. The superintendent has spent some of her time on district business, though. She is a speaker at the annual conference of the International School Connection, where superintendents from around the world get together to find how their students can work together on projects. She is expected to return over the weekend, in time for a Tuesday special meeting on Race to the Top. The district's response to the state is due Tuesday.
Tax certificate sale raises $23 million
Investors wiped out nearly $23.4 million in unpaid taxes at Tuesday's online tax certificate auction. That leaves about $1.1 million worth of tax certificates to be sold at a clean-up auction next week. Pasco Tax Collector Mike Olson originally had compiled a list of about $33 million worth of delinquent taxes for 2009. But he whittled that list to roughly $24.5 million for Tuesday's auction after some of those accounts were paid off and others were removed for a variety of reasons. Last year's first auction on 2008 taxes left about $2.7 million worth of unpaid tax certificates, so, by comparison, this year's auction was a good one. "I'm very pleased with it," Olson said.
A new municipal services taxing unit for the Pasco Sheriff's Office would shift 60 percent of his costs out of the general fund. A headline gave an incorrect percentage.