Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pasco sheriff's budget proposal includes $2.9 million increase, no pay raises

Sheriff Chris Nocco avoided a clash with county commissioners Friday when he released a budget proposal calling for no new deputies and no pay raises.

His proposed $86.3 million budget is still $2.9 million higher than the current year. That is mostly caused by higher fuel and medical insurance costs, as well as an expiring federal grant used to hire 24 deputies three years ago.

But commissioners have been preparing for that grant to run out. Over the past three years, they've set aside $2.4 million to offset the sticker shock, which nearly offsets the higher figure Nocco requested. The sheriff said because of lower retirement costs, he only needs to request $1.1 million for the formerly federally funded deputies.

Even though the official request did not include raises for Sheriff's Office employees, Nocco said he still wants them.

"We hope, by working with the county, that we can give our members raises," Nocco said.

The agency has not been able to give pay raises for five years. Nocco said his agency has lost some veteran employees who found higher paying jobs elsewhere.

It appears unlikely that commissioners will grant Nocco's request for raises.

"I think everybody is sensitive to the economy still being soft," said Commissioner Ann Hildebrand.

Said Commissioner Henry Wilson: "It's kind of hard to do that in this economy."

As opposed to former Pasco Sheriff Bob White, who was at odds with the county and often demanded what he said the agency needed, Nocco said he left wage increases out of his proposal because a hardball approach would not foster good will with commissioners. His approach instills "more of a team environment."

"We are all in this together as a county," he said.

Commissioner Ted Schrader said he appreciates that Nocco did not request more deputies or significantly more funding.

"It appears the sheriff is well aware (of) the struggles the board will be dealing with," he said.

Most elected constitutional officers, including Nocco, were required to submit their budgets to commissioners Friday. The sheriff's budget dwarfs those of other elected officials, taking up nearly half of the county's operating fund.

Property Appraiser Mike Wells trimmed his budget by 4.3 percent, to slightly more than $4 million. Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley proposed a 4.9 percent decrease, to $2.8 million. And Clerk of Courts Paula O'Neil asked for $2.7 million for the portion of her budget funded by the county, roughly the same as the current fiscal year.

Tax Collector Mike Olson's budget is reviewed by state officials and isn't due until August.

The county budget is set for discussion next week as commissioners grapple with lower-than-expected property values. County budget chief Mike Nurrenbrock calculated a new "rolled-back" property tax rate to offset an expected average drop of nearly 6 percent.

Officials had planned on a 4 percent drop. For a $150,000 home with standard exemptions, that would have translated into an extra $40 in taxes for county government and fire service. Under the new proposal, that same home would pay $63. Those figures are based on a home that hasn't lost value.

What a property owner actually pays, of course, depends on individual circumstances. Owners whose values dropped by the county average would end up paying the same amount in taxes as this year.

Commissioners are scheduled to discuss the proposed tax rate at their meeting Tuesday in Dade City.

Lee Logan can be reached at [email protected] Erin Sullivan can be reached at [email protected]

Pasco sheriff's budget proposal includes $2.9 million increase, no pay raises 06/01/12 [Last modified: Friday, June 1, 2012 8:55pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa Bay small businesses give Tampa B+ for regulatory climate

    Corporate

    In a recent survey about small business sentiments toward state and local government policies that affect them, Tampa Bay ranked at No. 25 out of 80 — a B+ overall.

    Tampa Bay ranked No. 25 out of 80 in a recent survey about how small business owners feel about state and local government policies that affect them. | [Times file photo]
  2. Dirk Koetter to Bucs: Take your complaints to someone who can help

    Bucs

    TAMPA — It was just another day of aching bellies at One Save Face.

    Dirk Koetter: “All of our issues are self-inflicted right now.”
  3. Seminole Heights murders: fear and warnings, but no answers

    Crime

    TAMPA — Interim Tampa police Chief Brian Dugan elicited loud gasps from the crowd of about 400 who showed up at Edison Elementary School on Monday night to learn more about the string of unsolved killings that have left the southeast Seminole Heights neighborhood gripped by fear.

    Kimberly Overman, left, comforts Angelique Dupree, center, as she spoke about the death of her nephew Benjamin Mitchell, 22, last week in Seminole Heights. The Tampa Police Department held a town hall meeting Monday night where concerned residents hoped to learn more about the investigation into the three shooting deaths over 11 days in southeast Seminole Heights. But police could give the crowd at Edison Elementary School few answers. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  4. Juvenile justice reform seen as help for teen car theft problem

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — One of Tampa Bay's largest religious organizations has decided to make reforming the juvenile justice system one of its top priorities for next year.

    One of Tampa Bay's largest religious organizations, Faith & Action for Strength Together (FAST), voted Monday night to make reforming the juvenile justice system one of its top priorities for next year. FAST believes civil citations could help Pinellas County?€™s teen car theft epidemic by keeping children out of the juvenile justice system for minor offenses. [ZACHARY T. SAMPSON  |  Times]
  5. U.S. general lays out Niger attack details; questions remain (w/video)

    War

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Special Forces unit ambushed by Islamic militants in Niger didn't call for help until an hour into their first contact with the enemy, the top U.S. general said Monday, as he tried to clear up some of the murky details of the assault that killed four American troops and has triggered a nasty …

    Gen. Joseph Dunford said much is still unclear about the ambush.