Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Drop in taxable values to mean loss of millions in Pasco budget

DADE CITY — In one scenario, budget director Mike Nurrenbrock projects Pasco County could take a $14.6-million hit next year to its general fund — the rough equivalent of wiping out libraries, parks and community services.

That's the cheery scenario.

Nurrenbrock on Tuesday gave Pasco commissioners a brief rundown of the potential shortfalls associated with another year of expected drops in taxable values.

His figures were only projections that assumed a 10 percent drop in the tax rolls and the same tax rates for the general fund and the fire services fund. Just to maintain the current revenue, commissioners would have to raise the tax rates by more than 11 percent.

Taxable values in the current year dropped by $3.9-billion, a roughly 14.6 percent decrease from the previous year.

County officials expect to firm up their estimates after Property Tax Appraiser Mike Wells on Friday releases his preliminary estimate of next year's taxable values. County Administrator John Gallagher said Wells told him he expected the drop to be less than 20 percent.

"The message is expect the worst and hope for the best," said Commissioner Ted Schrader.

If commissioners decide to hold the line on the tax rates, a 10 percent drop in taxable values would also translate into a $2.5-million loss to the fire services fund.

Pasco Fire Rescue has already lost 33 vacant positions in the current year. The department has been paying firefighters overtime to keep the stations staffed.

Chief Anthony Lopinto said Tuesday he is applying for a federal grant to replace those positions.

But if the grant isn't awarded? He asked commissioners Tuesday to consider raising the millage rate for the fire combat unit to fund 26 of those positions.

At the start of last year's budget season, commissioners agreed to go to the rollback rate — essentially, the tax rate needed to raise the same amount of revenue as the year before — which created a $13-million cushion that they used to restore cuts, sock away in reserves and, later, nibble a little off the final tax rate.

Tuesday's meeting provided a brief glimpse into how this budget season may go.

Lopinto, for instance, said he would need to hire a training officer for 911 operators in order to comply with state-mandated training and certification effective October 2011.

Schrader and commissioner Michael Cox suggested the county look into using a dispatch training officer already employed by Pasco Sheriff's Office, which operates separately from emergency services.

Later, commissioner Jack Mariano said he'd already been talking to many of the senior citizens who participate in the county's elderly nutrition program, which last year was slated for big cuts before commissioners ended up putting money back into it.

Mariano said he'd told the citizens that he couldn't speak for the rest of the board but that he was committed to keeping their funding level this year.

Schrader said he didn't think commissioners could make even those types of commitments. He said it isn't a sure thing that the board will agree to raise the tax rate again next year.

"That changes the whole picture," he said.

Jodie Tillman can be reached at jtillman@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6247.

Drop in taxable values to mean loss of millions in Pasco budget 03/02/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 2, 2010 9:04pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Woman dead in St. Petersburg shooting

    Blogs

    ST. PETERSBURG — A woman died in a shooting Saturday night, according to the St. Petersburg Police Department.

  2. For starters: Rays at Orioles, with a different look to things

    Blogs

    The Rays wrap up their four-game series with the Orioles today and their lineup has a different look, with C Wilson Ramos, OF Steven Souza Jr. and 3B Evan Longoria all gettig the day off.

    The Rays are starting their All-Star, RHP Chris Archer, who needs wins in his final two outings to even his record, going …

  3. All-eyes photo gallery: Florida State Seminoles loss to the N.C. State Wolfpack

    News

    View a gallery of images from the Florida State Seminoles 27-21 loss to the N.C. State Wolfpack Saturday in Tallahassee. The Seminoles will face Wake Forest on Saturday, Sept. 30 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

    Florida State Seminoles fans sing the fight song during the Florida State Seminoles game against the North Carolina State Wolfpack on September 23, 2017, at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla.  At the half, North Carolina State Wolfpack 17, Florida State Seminoles 10.
  4. Encounters: Trial by storm for a rookie principal

    K12

    DUNEDIN — When he nodded off to sleep, the hallway lights outside Michael Vasallo's office were on, so the sudden darkness woke him.

    The glow of his desk phone dimmed.

    Michael Vasallo, right, the first-year principal at Dunedin Highland Middle School, talks with the school's head plant operator Clint Case near the back-up generator on campus. The generator failed just as Hurricane Irma passed through Pinellas County, making for a stressful night. The experience made Vasallo long to return to his regular job, educating middle schoolers. [COLEEN WRIGHT   |   Times]


  5. Who is in charge during a hurricane? Hillsborough County and Tampa still can't agree

    Hurricanes

    TAMPA — Who has the authority to order an evacuation during a hurricane?

    Mayor Bob Buckhorn says he has evacuation authority.