Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Pete council passes budget — but not without debate

ST. PETERSBURG — The City Council voted 5-3 Thursday to adopt a new city budget that will grant a slight raise to city employees for the first time in four years

The pay increase — 2 percent is on the table — will apply to all workers in the fiscal year starting Oct. 1, officials said.

But a $300,000 expenditure change elsewhere provoked argument.

Council members Jim Kennedy, Bill Dudley and Leslie Curran dissented, disagreeing with a seemingly last-minute decision to amend Mayor Bill Foster's $211 million general fund proposal by allocating an additional $100,000 to the city's after-school internship program, $20,000 to social services and $180,000 to be potentially split among neighborhood and street revitalization projects at a future workshop.

"This should have been brought up earlier," Dudley said, referring to the new expenses during about two hours of debate. "To (increase the funding) now is irresponsible. It's throwing money out there to make you feel good."

Council member Wengay Newton said investing in youth employment and giving teenagers healthy responsibility would help prevent them from getting arrested — and, by extension, save the city money.

"We have arrested 2,185 juveniles," Newton said, citing public records from the past nine months. "The Bible says train up the child. Not lock up the child."

Unlike in recent years, the budget contains no cuts to parks, pools, libraries and recreation centers. It also keeps social services and art programs funded at current levels.

With property values expected to rise 4.2 percent — the first increase since 2008 — another $3.1 million will flow into city coffers, officials said.

Residents could also see a small drop in property taxes.

Millage of $6.7742 per $1,000 of a property's taxable value will also be reduced to $6.7700. A resident owning a house valued for tax purposes at $150,000 and claiming $50,000 in homestead exemptions, for example, will save 42 cents under the new rate.

Information from Times files was used in this report.

St. Pete council passes budget — but not without debate 09/26/13 [Last modified: Friday, September 27, 2013 12:09am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Iconic Ballet Nacional de Cuba ballet will perform at Straz in May


    Besides fine tobacco, Ballet Nacional de Cuba is considered by many to be the island nation's most distinctive export.

    Ballet Nacional de Cuba, one of the world's premiere ballet companies, will perform at the Straz Center in May.

 [Courtesy of Carlos Quezada]
  2. I-275 south closed in St. Pete heading towards Sunshine Skyway


    ST. PETERSBURG — All southbound lanes of Interstate 275 on the southern tip of Pinellas County were closed Wednesday afternoon due to a traffic crash with injuries, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  3. Bucs-Jaguars: Five things to watch Thursday in Jacksonville


    JACKSONVILLE — The Bucs have their second preseason game here Friday against the Jaguars, and here are five things to keep an eye on as Tampa Bay moves closer to paring its roster from 90 players to 53 by Sept. 3.


    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) participates in training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  4. Former Rep. Corrine Brown denied new trial; to be sentenced in November


    JACKSONVILLE (AP)—A federal judge has denied a request for a new trial by former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, who was found guilty of taking money from a sham charity that was purported to be aiding poor students.

    Corrine Brown
  5. We knew Aguayo was a goner, and 'Hard Knocks' still delivers


    Tuesday night's second installment of Hard Knocks, the HBO show that is going behind the scenes at training camp with the Bucs, had plenty of interesting tidbits, revelations and insights.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Roberto Aguayo (19) kicks during training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times