Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas School Board gives first approval to property tax increase

The Pinellas School Board unanimously gave initial approved Tuesday to a property tax rate increase to help offset a projected $19 million budget shortfall.

The seven-member board must approve the measure again during budget hearings on July 28 and Sept. 15. But it's not likely that they will be able to change their minds on the tax after Tuesday's vote, said board member Carol Cook.

"Each time we vote on it, we're more and more committed," she said. "This time we're saying, 'Go forward and add this into the budget.' In September, when we take the final vote, school already will have started. To say in September, 'We're not going to do this,' that just won't work."

Cook and other board members accused state lawmakers of abdicating their responsibility to quality education in Florida by asking local school districts to implement a tax that will require homeowners to pay an extra $25 for every $100,000 of a property's assessed taxable value.

"I'm supposed to take it on faith that the legislators will turn around (next year) and do the right thing," Cook said. "They have not done that so far. I cannot have faith when time after time it's been proven to me that I can't trust that they will do the right thing for our children."

Board chairwoman Peggy O'Shea said the Legislature has put local school boards in a "terrible position."

Without the $14 million the Pinellas school district would receive from the tax increase, teachers likely would face six to 10 days without pay, O'Shea said. But she added that the additional tax assessment could be a problem for many school employees, especially those who rent their homes.

"This cuts both ways," she said. "This will get passed off to them in the form of a rent increase, and they will pay a huge burden."

The Legislature gave school boards the authority to increase property taxes at the end of the spring session, stipulating that the additional revenue be used either for operating needs or capital outlay needs such as construction and technology.

Pinellas School Board gives first approval to property tax increase 06/17/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 17, 2009 12:16am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Astros rout Yankees to force Game 7 of AL Championship Series

    Ml

    HOUSTON — Justin Verlander pitched seven shutout innings to outduel Luis Severino for the second time, and the Astros bats came alive in their return home as Houston routed the Yankees 7-1 Friday night and forced a decisive Game 7 in the American League Championship Series.

    The Astros’ Brian McCann, who has struggled during the ALCS, breaks a scoreless tie with an RBI double during the fifth inning off Yankees starter Luis Severino.
  2. Review: Faith Hill and Tim McGraw shower love, star power on Tampa's Amalie Arena

    Blogs

    Near the end of their potent new duet Break First, Tim McGraw stopped singing, and let Faith Hill's powerhouse voice take over.

    Faith Hill and Tim McGraw performed at Amalie Arena in Tampa on Oct. 20, 2017.
  3. Senate to take up AUMF debate as Trump defends reaction to Niger attack

    World

    WASHINGTON — The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is taking up a long-awaited debate about authorizing military force against the Islamic State as President Trump comes under unprecedented public scrutiny for his treatment of dead soldiers' families, following an ambush on troops helping to fight Islamic …

  4. In fear and vigilance, a Tampa neighborhood holds its breath

    K12

    TAMPA — There was a time, not long ago, when Wayne Capaz would go for a stroll at night and Christina Rodriguez would shop whenever she wanted. Michael Fuller would go to his night job as a line cook, not too worried about his wife at home.

    More than 50 people gathered and walked in the Southeast Seminole Heights community Friday to pay respects to the victims of three shootings. The crowd took a moment of silence at the corner of 11th Street and East New Orleans where Monica Hoffa was found dead. [JONATHAN CAPRIEL  |  Times]
  5. Fennelly: What's not to like about Lightning's start?

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — No one is engraving the Stanley Cup. No one has begun stuffing the league MVP ballot box for Nikita Kucherov.

    The Lightning, with a win tonight, would match the best start in franchise history, 7-1-1 in the 2003-04 Cup season.