Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Only a 5 percent drop in Pasco tax base? What a relief, officials say

DADE CITY — County officials preparing to write next year's budget were pleasantly surprised Tuesday when they heard that property values are expected to drop by about 5 percent.

In most years, such news would be unwelcome, to say the least. But in a county rocked the past few years by a plummeting tax base, the relatively benign drop in values could mean county coffers are starting to return to normal.

Under a "worst-case scenario," county budget director Mike Nurrenbrock said there will be a $5.6 million shortfall in the general fund, which pays for countywide services and is the primary target for cuts. That figure would provide "significant relief," he said, compared with the $14 million gap last year.

"He made me really happy today," said Michele Baker, the assistant county administrator. She had been expecting a drop of about 7 percent, which translates to a shortfall of more than $8 million.

Besides the decreased property taxes, some county fees are expected to drop by about $350,000. A potential bright spot is an expected $1 million boost in sales tax collections — restoring that figure to what the county brought in three years ago.

"That might indicate some increased consumer spending in Pasco," Nurrenbrock said, cautioning that the trend is based on only a few months of data. "It's still early."

County commissioners got only a rough sketch of next year's revenue picture during a workshop Tuesday in Dade City. More precise numbers from property appraiser Mike Wells should be available by Friday's commission meeting. A final revenue projection is due in July.

This year, the county is expected to collect $132 million in property taxes for basic services such as law enforcement, libraries and parks. Last year, commissioners closed most of the property tax shortfall by cutting programs. Sharp cuts were largely avoided in 2009 when commissioners voted to increase the property tax rate.

Despite Tuesday's relative good news, Commissioner Pat Mulieri warned that some county programs are still on the chopping block and that she is still facing pressure from some residents for significant tax relief.

"We are being faced with revenue depletions," she said. "I don't know how we would do that."

Officials estimated that county firefighting services, which are paid for with a separate property tax, could also take a $1.3 million hit next year. Last year's shortfall for fire services was nearly double that figure, but commissioners voted to increase the property tax rate to leave the fire budget relatively intact.

Lee Logan can be reached at or (727) 869-6236.

Only a 5 percent drop in Pasco tax base? What a relief, officials say 03/08/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 8, 2011 7:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Trigaux: Florida's jobless rate looks great — but 25 other state rates look even better

    Economic Development

    No debate here: Florida's unemployment rate continues to drop — even as more people move to Florida and enter the workforce. What's not to like?

    Who remembers the remarkable lines of hundreds of people looking for construction work in Tampa back in March of 2010 at a job fair at the Encore construction site near downtown Tampa? Now the construction industry is struggling to find skilled workers to meet building demand. [
  2. Tampa police investigating fatal shooting at Busch Boulevard motel


    TAMPA — Police are investigating a shooting at a motel near Busch Gardens that left one woman dead.

  3. On the Camino de Santiago, Day 21: Tears of love and parting mark the beginning of the final leg of a pilgrim's journey.


    Day 21: León to Hospital de Orbigo: 32.6 km, 8.75 hours. Total for Days 1-21 = 498 km (309 miles)

  4. Pinellas detectives investigating shooting that led to car crash

    Public Safety

    LARGO — Pinellas Sheriff's detectives are investigating a shooting that investigators said led to a man crashing his car after he was shot in the abdomen early Tuesday.

  5. Trump tweets, McCain return set stage for health bill vote (w/video)


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump urged Republicans to "step up to the plate" for Tuesday's crucial Senate vote on their bill eviscerating much of the Obama health care law. The stage was set for high drama, with Sen. John McCain returning to the Capitol to cast his first vote since being diagnosed with brain …

    President Donald Trump, accompanied by Vice President Mike Pence, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, and others, speaks about healthcare, Monday, July 24, 2017, in the Blue Room of the White House in Washington. [Associated Press]