Sunday, November 19, 2017
News Roundup

Brooksville's proposed budget jumps 3 percent

RECOMMENDED READING


BROOKSVILLE — It took some haggling, but the Brooksville City Council has adopted a tentative 2012-13 budget that will combine a first-time $400,000 fire assessment with a property tax rate of 6.6 mils.

If adopted, the proposal means that city taxpayers will see about a 3 percent tax increase next year, not including the fire fee.

The millage rate to support the city's 2011-12 budget was 6.37 mils.

The proposed budget, approved on a 4-1 vote after a public hearing Wednesday night, maintains austerity measures that have had the city operating at bare-bones levels for several years. City Manager Jennene Norman-Vacha said the budget includes no general fund capital improvements, no pay raises and no increases in existing services.

All told, the new fire assessment revenue will fund about $1,049,000 of the Fire Department's $1,239,366 budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. The remaining $190,000 will come from the city's vehicle replacement reserve.

Council members were not initially in agreement on how much of the Fire Department's budget to cover with the new assessments.

Vice Mayor Lara Bradburn's pitch to set the amount at the $600,000 limit allowed by an ordinance the council passed earlier this year — along with a rollback millage rate of 6.583 mils — drew no takers. She argued that setting a lower amount for the assessments would likely force the city to use some of its reserve funds.

Council member Frankie Burnett's proposal to combine a $500,000 assessment with the 6.583 rollback rate also failed to gain a second.

None of the proposals impressed council member Joe Bernardini, who opposed the fire assessments on the grounds that they unfairly burden low-income residents.

In June, the council approved a two-tiered fire assessment in an effort to more equitably spread the cost of fire service to all taxpayers. Every lot owner will pay a flat fee, plus an additional amount based the taxable value of the home or business on the land. Council members chose to allow for an annual review for the assessments, with a limit up to $600,000 each year.

Under that scenario, property owners would have paid a $106 flat fee, plus .78 cents per $1,000 of improvements. That means a parcel with $100,000 worth of improvements would be assessed $78 for its improved value, and a $106 flat fee, for a total of $184.

Assistant city finance director Jim Delach said that while the $400,000 assessment is roughly two-thirds of the original proposal, he wasn't sure how the new fee structure will ultimately be calculated.

"The flat fee could be lowered separately, or not, to come up with the $400,000," Delach said. "Ultimately, it will be up to the council members to decide what they want."

Meanwhile, council members directed Norman-Vacha to look into any additional budget savings she might be able to find before the council's final budget hearing.

In addition, council members want to consider proposals to bring back fee waivers for special events in the city and placing 90 percent of the revenue from the city's red-light camera program into a fund to maintain city streets.

The final public hearing on the budget is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Sept. 26 at City Hall.

Logan Neill can be reached at (352) 848-1435 or lneill@tampabay.com.

Comments
Forecast: Cold front to bring rain, wind gusts to Tampa Bay

Forecast: Cold front to bring rain, wind gusts to Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG — A warm Sunday will be threatened by a few afternoon rain showers and wind gusts up to 20 mph, forecasters predict. 10News WTSPThe latest Tampa Bay-area radar 10News WTSPFeels-like temperatu...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Sunday morning QB, playoff edition

Sunday morning QB, playoff edition

Player of the Week | Michael Penix Jr., Tampa Bay TechPenix, a Tennessee commit, has been good all season and it seems as if he’s getting even better in the playoffs. On Friday night against Palmetto in the Class 7A region semifinals, he was too ...
Published: 11/19/17

Updated: 12 hours ago
Lightning finds its game too late, loses to Islanders

Lightning finds its game too late, loses to Islanders

TAMPA — The firepower showed up in the third period.Yanni Gourde and Ondrej Palat scored 13 seconds apart. Gourde scored again.Suddenly it was a one-goal game, and the Lightning appeared on its way to one of those comeback wins that would be remember...
Updated: 12 hours ago
No. 14 UCF rolls Temple 45-19, heads to War on I-4 unbeaten

No. 14 UCF rolls Temple 45-19, heads to War on I-4 unbeaten

PHILADELPHIA — There were so many reasons for UCF coach Scott Frost to worry about his team’s focus. With a huge game against USF looming, playing an improving Temple team in a stadium where the empty seats outnumbered the filled ones by about a 3-1 ...
Published: 11/18/17
Gerald McCoy to Ndamukong Suh: ‘Let them remember us’

Gerald McCoy to Ndamukong Suh: ‘Let them remember us’

TAMPA — In the spring of 2010, one of the biggest debates during the week leading up to the NFL draft was which defensive tackle would be selected first: Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh or Oklahoma’s Gerald McCoy.Both figured to be highly productive NFL pla...
Published: 11/18/17
No. 2 Miami finishes on 30-0 run, tops Virginia 44-28

No. 2 Miami finishes on 30-0 run, tops Virginia 44-28

MIAMI — After Miami clinched the first Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division crown in program history, upset the then-No. 3 team in the country, claimed one of the top four spots in the College Football Playoff rankings and after many of the nat...
Published: 11/18/17
Bucs’ belief in Jameis Winston has been shaken

Bucs’ belief in Jameis Winston has been shaken

TAMPA — Belief is the biggest attribute a quarterback can bring to his team. Belief in his talent. Belief in his commitment to winning. Belief in his ability to bring everyone together and have his voice lead the path forward.But the belief the Bucs ...
Published: 11/18/17
Topkin: As Rays start dealing, how far will they go?

Topkin: As Rays start dealing, how far will they go?

After collecting intelligence at last week’s GM meetings, the Rays soon will launch their offseason mission of trading at least a couple of veterans to reduce payroll.The question is how far they will go — how many players they deal, and how big of n...
Published: 11/18/17
Bucs-Dolphins: Things to watch in Sunday’s 1 p.m. game

Bucs-Dolphins: Things to watch in Sunday’s 1 p.m. game

TAMPA — Can the Bucs pull off back-to-back wins with a backup quarterback? Win a game on the road for the first time this season? Politely hand the unnamed trophy for the state’s worst football team back to the Dolphins?With WR Mike Evans back from h...
Published: 11/18/17