Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando commissioners unveil $390.3M budget plan

BROOKSVILLE — Gone were the packed, standing-room-only crowds of angry taxpayers clamoring for slashed county spending.

Unlike last year's public hearings on the county budget, only a few handful of citizens attended Thursday's first hearing on the county's proposed spending plan and the expenditure cuts mandated by voters and lawmakers within it.

After hearing from 10 citizens during the hourlong session, commissioners gave their tentative approval of the $390.3-million budget, a proposal that is lower than last year's spending plan. They also gave tentative approval of a countywide tax rate unchanged from last year at 6.3431 mills.

That tax rate amounts to $6.34 in property tax to support county services for every $1,000 of appraised taxable property value. For the owner of a house assessed at $150,000 with the $50,000 homestead exemption, the county tax would be $634.31.

Last year the county tax bill for a house with that same value would have been $158.58 higher because homeowners only received a $25,000 homestead exemption. Passage of Amendment 1 in January brought the additional exemption.

Unfilled positions, cuts in the hours of some county functions, reduction in the amount the county pays toward THE Bus, a reduction in the budget for the jail operation and a variety of cuts taken by individual departments are part of government belt-tightening which has been necessary in planning next year's budget.

During the next fiscal year, Hamilton plans additional cost-cutting moves, including slicing the number of county departments in half, restructuring the county's organization and offering voluntary early retirement to department heads and managers.

Other budget decisions are slated for specific votes. During Tuesday's regular meeting, commissioners will conduct a public hearing on increasing fees and adding new fees for parks and facilities. The most controversial of those has been to assess a $20 fee per person for all members of sports leagues that use county fields.

If the fees are not approved by the commission, four employees are to be laid off instead.

Another item commissioners are expected to discuss next week is the approval of a pay raise of two percent for all employees who make less than $65,000 per year. Those who make more than that would not get a raise.

The measure is expected to save the county $72,086. That number would grow to $98,523 if constitutional officers also adopted the same plan, which has been suggested to them by Hamilton.

The final hearing on the budget is slated for 5 p.m. on Sept. 25 in the County Commission chambers of the Hernando County Government Center.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at or (352) 848-1434.

Hernando commissioners unveil $390.3M budget plan 09/11/08 [Last modified: Friday, September 12, 2008 7:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Quiet college dropout turned bomber: Who was Salman Abedi?


    LONDON — He was quiet and withdrawn, a college dropout who liked soccer — and, some say, showed alarming signs of being radicalized years before he walked into a pop concert at Britain's Manchester Arena and detonated a powerful bomb, killing himself and 22 others.

    Salman Abedi was identified by British authorities as the man behind Monday’s attack.
  2. Soldiers launch attacks in besieged Philippine city


    MARAWI, Philippines — Backed by tanks and rocket-firing helicopters, Philippine troops launched "precision attacks" Thursday to clear extremists linked to the Islamic State group from a city that has been under siege since a raid that failed to capture one of Asia's most-wanted militants.

    Soldiers fire at enemy positions Thursday while trying to clear the city of Marawi, Philippines, of armed militants.
  3. Back to .500, Rays feel ready to roll (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Who wants to be mediocre? Middling? Average? Run-of-the-mill?

    Rays catcher Jesus Sucre tags out the Angels’ Mike Trout trying to score from second base after a perfect peg from rightfielder Steven Souza Jr. in the first inning.
  4. Seminole man accused of fracturing 8-month-old baby's leg


    Deputies arrested a Seminole man Thursday after he fractured an 8-month-old baby's bones, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said.

    Gary G. Gibeault of Seminole was arrested on a charge of aggravated child abuse.
  5. St. Petersburg's ballooning sewage debt could threaten credit rating (but there's a Hail Mary plan to avoid that)

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The city needs a lot of money — $435 million over the next five years — most of it to fix its leaky sewer pipes and aging sewer plants.

    In September 2016, signs at St. Petersburg's North Shore Park warned people to stay out of the water due to contamination from sewage released by the city's overwhelmed sewer system. The City Council on Thursday learned that the very expensive fix for its sewage woes could hamper the city's credit rating. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]