Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Safety Harbor residents likely will pay less in property taxes

SAFETY HARBOR — It will take the elimination of three full-time employees and a withdrawal from the city's reserve fund, but Safety Harbor residents will likely see a reduction in their property taxes in the coming year.

The City Commission has agreed to maintain the city's current 3.3808 millage rate for the coming tax year.

Because of dropping property values, that tax rate is expected to produce $118,000 less in revenue compared to the previous year.

One mill produces $1 of tax for each $1,000 of taxable real property value. So the owner of a home with a taxable value of $100,000 would pay $338 in city property taxes under the tax rate. Lower property valuations will lower many individual tax bills, however.

To balance the proposed $12.6 million general fund budget, the city will need $582,170 from its reserve fund.

In addition, commission members asked City Manager Matthew Spoor to seek $215,000 in additional cuts.

Aside from reducing some operating expenses, Spoor found the cuts by laying off the city clerk and two public works employees.

"I'm never happy with having to go through layoffs," Mayor Andy Steingold said at a budget work session Saturday. "But I think it was something that had to be done."

In past years, Safety Harbor downsized by using a voluntary retirement program.

Former City Clerk Cathy Benson had been with the city since 2003 and earned $73,798 a year. Benson's last day was July 23.

Karen Sammons, who was the deputy city clerk, was promoted to city clerk Friday. A city employee since 1997, Sammons received a salary increase, going from $44,200 to $53,539 a year.

The city's proposed budget includes a merit pay raise for employees of up to 3 percent. The city is also allocating funds to several outside agencies that requested help.

One agency that didn't get everything it wanted was the Safety Harbor Museum of Regional History, which requested $30,000 plus improvements through the Community Redevelopment Agency.

The commission agreed on $15,000 in funding plus $10,000 in CRA improvements.

Contact Demorris A. Lee at and (727) 445-4174

Safety Harbor residents likely will pay less in property taxes 07/27/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 27, 2011 7:03pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Southern heritage groups sue to keep Confederate monument at old Tampa courthouse

    Local Government

    TAMPA — Groups that say they support Southern heritage filed a lawsuit late Friday trying to halt the removal of a Confederate statue from downtown Tampa.

    Workers place boards around a Confederate monument on Hillsborough County property in Tampa on Thursday, August 17, 2017. It took 24 hours to raise private funds in order to move the statue from its current location.
  2. Bucs mull options at right tackle as Dotson awaits MRI


    Right tackle Demar Dotson, the Bucs' most experienced offensive lineman, will undergo an MRI on his injured groin Saturday, three weeks before the season opener.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneer Demar Dotson, offensive tackle, brought his coffee and breakfast to One Buc Place, 7/31/15, as he reported to training camp.
  3. For starters: Rays vs. Mariners, with another new look


    Having lost 11 of their last 14 games and dropping to a season-worst four games under .500 at 60-64, the Rays continue to search for ways to get out of their extended offensive slump.

    And with the M's starting LHP Ariel Miranda today, that means another new look to the lineup, which includes having struggling …

  4. Chasing 125: Bucs hope to hit rushing goal more often


    Ever so often, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter pulls back the curtain a bit and shares some of the stats that matter to him most as a coach.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017.
  5. Two Boca Ciega students arrested on charges they brought gun to high school football game


    PINELLAS PARK — Two Boca Ciega High School students were arrested for having a loaded semi-automatic handgun with them at a Friday night football game at Pinellas Park High School.

    Two Boca Ciega High School students were arrested for bringing a weapon on school property on Friday night at a high school football game at Pinellas Park High School.