Wednesday, September 19, 2018
News Roundup

Here’s your last chance to comment on the Pasco County budget

NEW PORT RICHEY — Don’t expect anybody to go hoarse at Pasco County’s upcoming budget hearing.

Just look at last week’s first session in Dade City for evidence. Commissioners gave the initial blessing to a nearly $1.35 billion budget for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 with no comment. They didn’t have to because nobody from the public was there to offer their own sentiments.

A steady tax rate might explain that. For the third consecutive year, Pasco will charge 7.6076 mills for its general fund and 1.8036 mills for its fire services. A mil equals $1 of tax for every $1,000 of assessed property value.

Homeowners’ tax bills will go up, however, because taxable values have increased. The value of homesteaded properties, tied to the Consumer Price Index, increased 2.1 percent.

For a single-family home valued at $100,000, with homestead exemptions, owners will pay about $16 more in general fund property taxes and $3.79 more for fire service in the coming year. The tax bills also will include annual household assessments of $95 for drainage and $62 for solid waste.

New construction and higher real estate values, bolstering the tax rolls by $2 billion, account for roughly $15 million in new property tax revenue available to the county. Nearly 30 percent of that new money is earmarked for transportation and community redevelopment.

But the rosy financial picture still allowed the county’s operating budget to exceed $703 million for the coming year, including $132 million for the Pasco Sheriff’s Office. Other public safety initiatives include hiring 16 staffers for the 911 emergency communications center and adding ambulance services in Holiday and a fire station in Wesley Chapel.

Additionally, though contract negotiations with the firefighters’ union are continuing, the county wants to hire about 40 new firefighters to reduce the mandatory overtime required of the current staff.

Library branches in Hudson and Dade City will be open more hours, and there is $1 million set-aside to repair county parks that are facing a $24 million backlog of delayed maintenance work. The budget also includes money to finance 4 percent salary increases for county employees.

Property tax bills will begin arriving in mail boxes Nov. 1 and can be paid through April 1 before they are considered delinquent.

Reach C.T. Bowen at [email protected] or (813) 435-7306. Follow @CTBowen2

 

RELATED: Higher tax rolls burnishes county budget.

 

Comments
Maroon 5 to Headline Super Bowl Halftime Show

Maroon 5 to Headline Super Bowl Halftime Show

A band will once again take the stage at the Super Bowl halftime show.The pop group Maroon 5 is scheduled to headline the annual 13-minute extravaganza this February at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, according to two sources familiar with the plan...
Updated: 1 hour ago
USF faces a reality as it prepares to consolidate: This is going to be hard.

USF faces a reality as it prepares to consolidate: This is going to be hard.

TAMPA — All summer, while most students were gone, the University of South Florida has been toiling away on a blueprint for the complex merger of the USF System.Its three universities in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota will soon consolidate into o...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays journal: Austin Meadows among final wave of callups

Rays journal: Austin Meadows among final wave of callups

ARLINGTON, Texas — The Rays will get their first look at OF Austin Meadows when he joins them Thursday in Toronto as part of the final wave of callups.And based on what RHP Tyler Glasnow, a former Pirates and now Rays teammate, said, they're go...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office launches Facebook, Twitter accounts in Spanish

Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office launches Facebook, Twitter accounts in Spanish

TAMPA — The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office now has Facebook and Twitter accounts in Spanish.The agency celebrated the official launch of the accounts on Wednesday. Sheriff Chad Chronister said the goal is to connect with an increasing number of...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Ninety animals seized Tuesday in Hernando County cruelty case

Ninety animals seized Tuesday in Hernando County cruelty case

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando sheriff’s deputies seized 90 animals on Tuesday and arrested a woman on animal cruelty and animal mistreatment charges after people called with concerns about an ill horse.Crystal Robin Crawford, 46, was arrested but not taken ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Second-round pick Gabriel Fortier among Lightning’s early cuts

Second-round pick Gabriel Fortier among Lightning’s early cuts

One round of cuts down, several more to go.The Lightning cut seven players on Wednesday, five of whom were training camp invitees, the team announced. All seven players were assigned to juniors.Gabriel Fortier was the most notable cut. The Lightning'...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Oh, baby! It’s Rays rookie dress up day

Oh, baby! It’s Rays rookie dress up day

Today was rookie dress-up day for the Rays, a long-standing, and recently by rule toned down, tradition among teams to embarrass their first-timers.Masterminded by veteran reliever Sergio Romo the Rays went with a fitting theme for the rookie-laden t...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Pinellas County strikes bed tax deal with VRBO, HomeAway and other AirBnb competitors

Pinellas County strikes bed tax deal with VRBO, HomeAway and other AirBnb competitors

The Pinellas County Tax Collector’s Office will start collecting bed tax dollars from a slew of home rental apps that operate similarly to AirBnb starting Oct. 1.Prior to the new partnerships with TripAdvisor and Expedia, only AirBnb had set up to pa...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Buccaneers-Eagles All-22: Why Ryan Fitzpatrick and Fitzmagic could be real

Buccaneers-Eagles All-22: Why Ryan Fitzpatrick and Fitzmagic could be real

It’s just a mirage.At any moment now, Ryan Fitzpatrick will come crashing back to Earth. He’ll go back to being the Fitzpatrick of 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. Quarterbacks don’t t...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rays keep pressure on, beat Rangers 9-3 for fifth straight win

Rays keep pressure on, beat Rangers 9-3 for fifth straight win

ARLINGTON, Texas – The Rays still have a long way to go, and they are going to need a lot of help to get there.But they continue to do their part to try to make it a race for the final American League playoff spot, beating the Rangers 9-3 Wedne...
Updated: 4 hours ago