Wednesday, May 23, 2018
News Roundup

Dade City leaders gear up for vote on tax rate

DADE CITY — City commissioners got a preview of the challenges they'll face in hammering out a new budget during a Tuesday workshop — such as paying for increasing employee health benefits and possible pay hikes with fewer state and county revenues.

City Manager Billy Poe presented commissioners with a rough estimate of the most pressing issues, based on priorities they want to see in the 2014-15 city budget. Employee raises are on the list; Poe's early estimate is that it will cost roughly $95,000 to make them happen — along with about $75,500 for increased costs to provide city workers with health insurance.

Poe is also preparing for the city to lose about $136,000 if county commissioners decide to change the way it distributes local option gas tax revenues to municipalities, on top of a $30,000 shortfall in state revenues.

Poe shared some good news: The city will likely see revenue increases for stormwater and gas franchise fees of roughly $115,000, and the utility fund will probably gain an additional $75,000 when the city takes over management of the wastewater treatment plant.

Commissioners also took a look at how they might spend Penny for Pasco sales tax revenues next year, allocating $765,000 of that pot for items like paving and sidewalks, economic development, park and stormwater drainage improvements, and setting aside funds for the new city hall and police department project, and a possible future renovation of the city yard.

A proposed budget will be discussed at a 3 p.m. workshop July 22, followed by the commission's regular meeting in which a vote on a tentative tax rate will be taken. Public hearings on the budget, which takes effect Oct. 1, will be held Sept. 8 and 24.

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