Thursday, January 18, 2018
News Roundup

In first vote, Largo approves tax hike for 2013

LARGO — The City Commission moved one step closer to approving next year's budget Tuesday night. The commission preliminarily approved both a higher property tax rate and the 2013 budget by a vote of 6 to 1, with Commissioner Curtis Holmes the only dissenting vote.

The $138 million budget calls for a 9.7 percent increase in the city's property tax rate, to 4.9999 mills. One mill is equal to $1 of tax for each $1,000 of assessed, nonexempt property.

The owner of a home valued at $100,000 after any exemptions, for example, paid Largo about $456 in property taxes under the current millage rate of 4.5594. That same homeowner would pay about $500 under the tentative tax rate for 2013.

The tax increase will provide about $1 million more for city coffers, which staff hopes will prevent budget cuts next year. Largo has dealt with six straight years of declining revenues, forcing management to pare $14 million from general fund spending since 2008 and trim more than 90 full-time equivalent positions. That includes $2.5 million and more than 20 positions cut from the 2012 budget.

"We're hoping for better times next year," said Mayor Pat Gerard.

The tentative budget calls for $62 million in general operating fund spending in fiscal 2013, which starts Oct. 1.

There was little public comment before the two votes Tuesday night. Holmes had some questions for Recreation, Parks and Arts Director Joan Byrne about her department's $10.7 million budget, but other than that the budget and tax rate passed without much discussion.

The commission will vote on the budget and tax rate for a second and final time Sept. 20 at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

Comments
Police: ‘Man-bun bandit’ seen stealing packages from Clearwater home

Police: ‘Man-bun bandit’ seen stealing packages from Clearwater home

Clearwater Police are searching for a "man-bun bandit" who is seen stealing packages from a residence.Police on Thursday tweeted this video of the suspect, who is seen attempting to balance multiple packages while gathering them at a home on Majestic...
Updated: 29 minutes ago
Tampa Bay area doesn’t make cut as Amazon second headquarter finalist

Tampa Bay area doesn’t make cut as Amazon second headquarter finalist

To no one’s surprise, Amazon on Thursday released its list of location finalists for its second headquarters, and neither Tampa nor St. Petersburg was on it."We knew it was going to be a long shot and a difficult road," Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said....
Updated: 1 hour ago

As temperatures fall and rise, Tampa braces for another round of water main breaks

TAMPA — This week’s cold snap is expected to keep the city of Tampa’s utility crews busy over the next few days.The city is bracing for another spike in water main breaks as temperatures climb from this morning’s near record lows and another round of...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Joe Henderson: Leaders can’t job-out responsibility for bad substitute teachers

Joe Henderson: Leaders can’t job-out responsibility for bad substitute teachers

Sometimes, people in authority need a reality check before they can recognize a problem that should have been obvious.In this case, it took a meticulously reported story last Sunday by education writer Marlene Sokol of the Tampa Bay Times to alert Hi...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Family recalls troubled youth for teen killer, now 39, who seeks new sentence

Family recalls troubled youth for teen killer, now 39, who seeks new sentence

TAMPA — The bearded man with shackled hands sat slumped and weeping as he listened to witness after witness — his mom, aunt and sister among them — recount his childhood of poverty, abuse, and depression.Kyle Moran leaned forward occasionally, stretc...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Winter weather deaths climb to 15 as the South cleans up snow

Winter weather deaths climb to 15 as the South cleans up snow

The deep freeze that shut down much of the South began to relent Thursday as crews salted and cleared roads after a slow-moving storm left ice and snow in places that usually enjoy mild winters. At least 15 people were killed in accidents and frigid ...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Oldsmar rejects plan to host cycling event

OLDSMAR — The City Council voted 3-2 against hosting a 2018 BMX World Cup qualifying event that would have brought 200 elite riders to the city and been broadcast in 42 counties. The decision came in December after two lengthy discussions about Oldsm...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Deal clears way for Oldsmar townhomes

OLDSMAR — The City Council voted 4-1 last month in favor of approving a development agreement for a 50-unit townhome community on a nearly 4-acre parcel on St. Petersburg Drive. According to the terms of the agreement, Oldsmar Towns LLC will build a ...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Safety Harbor centennial banners on sale for $50

SAFETY HARBOR — Safety Harbor commemorative centennial banners are on sale for $50, with proceeds to benefit the city’s Partners in Progress Youth Scholarship fund. To purchase a banner, fill out the order form at safetyharbor.com and return with pay...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Contest seeks designs for new bike racks at Safety Harbor library

Contest seeks designs for new bike racks at Safety Harbor library

SAFETY HARBOR — The Safety Harbor Public Library and the Friends of the Safety Harbor Library are seeking design submissions for bike racks with an artistic flair as two traditional library bike racks at the facility will be replaced with ones design...
Updated: 3 hours ago