DADE CITY — Commissioner Scott Black made an unsuccessful last-ditch effort Monday to hold the city's property tax rate in check and keep commissioner raises out of the new budget.
With 4-1 votes, the commission gave final approval to a $14.5 million 2013-14 budget and a tax rate increase to $7.15 per $1,000 of assessed property value — the amount necessary to bring in the same amount of property tax revenues as the previous fiscal year. Black voted against both, which take effect Oct. 1.
When Commissioner Jimmy Shive moved to approve the $7.15 rate, Black tried to amend the motion by proposing to keep the millage rate unchanged at $7.10. With no second, Black's motion failed.
Black also opposed including commissioner raises totaling $13,200 in the new budget. He proposed the group forgo them in favor of adding a part-time employee to the public works department to help with higher demands for mowing and an upcoming Highway Beautification Plan. His motion failed to get a second; a subsequent vote passed the budget with the raises.
Commissioners favoring the increases said they were long overdue — it's been more than 20 years since elected city officials have seen a pay raise. They'll go from earning $100 a month — $150 for the mayor — to $300 and $450, respectively.
The new budget does not give city workers pay raises, but it does include money for one-time bonuses that will likely be distributed in December. The commission voted unanimously to give all workers $700, rather than base the bonus on a percentage of their salaries.