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Dade City looks for places to cut in its budget

DADE CITY — Facing falling revenue and a flat tax rate, department heads at City Hall are looking for ways to compensate for a $478,075 loss in revenue for next year's budget.

City Commissioners voted Tuesday night to move forward with a working tax rate that's the same as this past year, which comes out to $7.10 in tax for every $1,000 in taxable property value.

Because of falling property values, the same tax rate will bring in less money next year than this year. Officials also expect to collect less revenue from the state and other sources.

So what does that mean at City Hall?

The city staff is working on a draft of a proposed budget, which is due to commissioners by Saturday, per city law. While still a work in progress, some of the proposed cuts were available Wednesday afternoon.

Four part-time positions — two at City Hall and two in the Police Department — may be eliminated, saving the city about $50,000.

Earlier this month, commissioners voted to cut the city's recreation program, which saves about $40,000 through the elimination of a part-time recreation director position and several seasonal jobs. The Tampa Metro YMCA will take over the recreation program this fall.

An incentive agreement with the Dade City Business Center, in which the city paid back a portion of the center's municipal taxes, ended in this year's budget. That will save about $50,000 next year.

Also on the chopping block: $20,000 in consultant fees.

More savings came from smaller moves.

"Each department cut different areas," said City Manager Billy Poe. "They may have cut back a little bit on maintenance or office supplies."

The past year's budget was $10.3 million. Next year's is expected to be larger because of utility projects funded through grants and loans.

Helen Anne Travis can be reached at htravis@sptimes.com or (813) 435-7312.

Fast Facts

Budget workshop on Tuesday

Want to put in your two cents on how the city spends its money? City commissioners will meet for their first budget workshop at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the City Hall Annex, 14150 Fifth St.

Dade City looks for places to cut in its budget 07/29/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 8:35pm]
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