Thursday, May 24, 2018
News Roundup

Plant City budget proposal doesn't increase property tax rate

Expect an uptick in water and sewer bills, but no increase in the property tax rate next year.

City commissioners meeting Monday approved a tentative budget that holds taxes down and uses a projected increase in sales tax revenue, gas taxes and franchise fees to utility companies to cover an anticipated $887,000 budget shortfall.

Water and sewer bills would increase a slight 1.7 percent.

The tax rate, which remains the lowest in Hillsborough County, would stay the same at $4.72 per $1,000 of assessed property value. If commissioners keep that rate unchanged, the owner of a house assessed at $150,000, with a $50,000 homestead exemption, would pay $472 in property taxes.

Commissioners are set to vote on a final budget Sept. 24. It will take effect Oct. 1.

"It's extremely important to keep the rate where it is," City Manager Greg Horwedel said. "We still have lot of business owners and property owners trying to weather the downtown. A lot of people say, technically were not in recession, but it sure seems the effects of that recession have lingered."

The budget envisions one layoff — in the city's General Services Department, which maintains city-owned properties. One position in the Engineering Department recently vacated will not be filled. And officials might leave vacant the community services director position after current director James McDaniel retires this month. He may remain as a consultant or part-timer to oversee the cleanup of the downtown's brownfields.

"We're still trying to figure that out," Horwedel said.

Also, under the spending plan, fees for recreation services, building permits, planning and zoning reviews, and engineering inspections would stay the same. Salaries would increase for police and firefighters, but wages for most city employees would not change.

Officials have held salaries in check for five years. This past fiscal year, the city gave workers a one-time pay out commensurate to 2 percent of their salary up to $750. Officials will review the finances again at mid year to determine whether another payout can be made.

"It's something a lot of companies do now. You look at your finances and see what you can afford," Horwedel said.

Rich Shopes can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 661-2454.

Comments
Behind the deal: $52 million boutique hotel coming to Ybor City started with cafe con leche at La Tropicana Cafe

Behind the deal: $52 million boutique hotel coming to Ybor City started with cafe con leche at La Tropicana Cafe

TAMPA — Joe Capitano Sr. invested in the 1400 block of E Seventh Avenue in 1985, never doubting the huge potential of the property for Ybor City.But the deal to build a $52 million boutique hotel on the site didn’t start to come together until six ye...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays tripling down on starting relievers vs. Orioles this weekend: Romo, Stanek, Romo

Rays tripling down on starting relievers vs. Orioles this weekend: Romo, Stanek, Romo

The Rays aren't kidding about being serious in using relievers to start games.After unveiling the strategy last weekend against the Angels, manager Kevin Cash said they planned to use it again, and he made that official on Thursday, naming Sergio Rom...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Sprouts Farmers Market to open new store in Riverview

Sprouts Farmers Market to open new store in Riverview

RIVERVIEW — Sprouts Farmers Market is opening a new location in Riverview, the chain announced Thursday. The new store will be located at Summerfield Crossing Shopping Center, though Sprouts did not have a specific opening date.The announcement comes...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Pasco sheriff: Man stabbed driver, kicked officer

Pasco sheriff: Man stabbed driver, kicked officer

DADE CITY — A 42-year-old man was arrested Tuesday night after the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said he jumped on top of a car, stabbed the driver multiple times and then kicked an officer.Roscoe James faces charges of attempted murder, two counts ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa Electric to shut down Big Bend coal unit that killed 5

Tampa Electric to shut down Big Bend coal unit that killed 5

APOLLO BEACH — Tampa Electric Co. is taking a big step away from coal. The Tampa-based utility is spending $853 million to convert its coal-fired Unit 1 at its Big Bend Power Station to natural gas and retire coal-fired Unit 2 in 2021.Five workers di...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs union rep Ali Marpet questions legality of the NFL’s new anthem policy

Bucs union rep Ali Marpet questions legality of the NFL’s new anthem policy

Bucs offensive lineman Ali Marpet questioned the legality of the NFL's new  policy that requires players to stand for the national anthem if they are on the field during the performance but gives them the option to remain in the locker room if t...
Updated: 1 hour ago
When will the Lightning run out of wait-til-next-years?

When will the Lightning run out of wait-til-next-years?

TAMPA — Disbelief will eventually give way to acceptance.The Lightning isn't there yet.It isn't there yet in a lot of ways.Will it ever be?Just wondering.Really, what guarantees are there?Late Wednesday night, Washington Capitals captain A...
Updated: 2 hours ago
USF wins doubleheader to stay alive in AAC tourney

USF wins doubleheader to stay alive in AAC tourney

Its American Athletic Conference tournament hopes flat-lining, USF's baseball team has spent the past 30 or so hours reviving itself with plain ol' CPR.Clutch Pitching and Resolve.Needing back-to-back wins on a humid Clearwater day to remain alive, t...
Updated: 2 hours ago
One day after fatal accident, Tampa moves to lower speed limit on Bayshore Blvd

One day after fatal accident, Tampa moves to lower speed limit on Bayshore Blvd

TAMPA — Tampa officials said Thursday they are reducing the speed limit on Bayshore Boulevard, one day after a mother was struck and killed by a speeding car while pushing her 21-month-old daughter across the city’s signature street.Starting Friday, ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
A white supremacist killed her twin. Why did she forgive him?

A white supremacist killed her twin. Why did she forgive him?

As a fifth-grader, Aleesha Mance wrote an essay about her sister’s killer, explaining how peer pressure and drugs led the 17-year-old to make a deadly choice. In high school, she searched for his name online. She read news articles about a tee...
Updated: 2 hours ago