Town halls to focus on school funding
As the Pasco school district grapples with a $25 million budget shortfall, board members are asking the public to give feedback and share suggestions for cuts and priorities for programs and services at the following upcoming town hall meetings:
• 6 p.m. Monday, at John Long Middle, 2025 Mansfield Blvd., Wesley Chapel. Hosted by School Board member Joanne Hurley, District 2.
• 6 p.m. Tuesday at Hudson High, 14410 Cobra Way, Hudson. Hosted by School Board member Steve Luikart, District 5.
• 6 p.m. Wednesday at Trinity Oaks Elementary, 1827 Trinity Oaks Blvd., New Port Richey. Hosted by School Board member Cynthia Armstrong, District 3.
• 6 p.m. Thursday at Centennial Middle, 38505 Centennial Road, Dade City. Hosted by School Board member Allen Altman, District 1.
• 6 p.m. Thursday at Chasco Elementary, 7906 Ridge Road, New Port Richey. Hosted by School Board Member Alison Crumbley, District 4.
NEW PORT RICHEY
Tax certificate sale nets $16.8 million
Pasco Tax Collector Mike Olson managed to collect $16.8 million in a matter of 10 hours this week. On Tuesday, the county held its annual tax certificate sale, which allows investors to pay the outstanding taxes on delinquent properties in exchange for liens on those properties. For the sixth year, Olson conducted the sale over the Internet, attracting a record 200 bidders representing nearly 2 million investment accounts. "Now we not only reach a worldwide investment audience, but can do in a day what used to take all week," Olson said in a prepared release. Still, the investors didn't snatch up all the certificates: About $1.2 million in delinquent taxes went unpaid, resulting in certificates being issued to the County Commission. Those certificates can be purchased at the Tax Collector's office in a few days by anyone at an interest yield of 18 percent. Olson cautioned buyers to beware, though: "Investment in tax certificates is only as good as the value of the property. Some of the properties on which certificates were not sold, but issued to the county, have issues."
Taste of Pasco opens today
The 2012 class of Leadership Pasco is hosting the second annual Taste of Pasco today to raise money for the county's new medical van, which will treat the homeless. The event will feature food samples from several local restaurants, a silent auction and children's games. It is from 4 to 7 p.m. today at the Rotary Pavilion at the Concourse, 15323 State Road 52. Tickets are $25 in advance or $35 at the gate. Children under 12 get in free. For tickets, call Krista Hakes at (813) 926-0827 ext. 227 or Scott Byrnes at (727) 845-7015.