PORT RICHEY — City manager Tom O'Neill is calling on the city council to consider new fees to boost the general fund. A decrease from this year in the proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year has Port Richey's city manager calling on council to consider new fees for residents in order to pad its general fund.
O'Neill presented a $10.7 million budget, which is a 7.84 percent decrease from last year. The decrease is the result of declining Community Redevelopment Agency reserves, which dipped $775,200 this year to about $1,1 million. The decrease is partly due to the city's use of CRA funds to pay for employee expenses to balance the budget.
Another drain on revenue has been dwindling red light camera violations, according to O'Neill.
He has asked the council to consider taking the burden off the CRA by padding its general fund. Options include creating a street light utility fee, as well as implementing debris collection and waste hauler franchise fees. O'Neill also suggested increasing existing stormwater utility and impact fees.
While new fees may be considered down the road, the proposed budget is balanced using the current property tax rate of 5.4348 mills, but the council could raise it after recently setting the rate at 6.4348.