Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Zephyrhills starts budget talks with higher tax rate

ZEPHYRHILLS — Officials presented City Council with a proposed budget that keeps the tax rate flat while providing a 2 percent raise for city employees.

The council wanted a little more wiggle room.

Council members voted 3-1 on Monday evening to set the preliminary tax rate at $6.25 for every $1,000 in taxable property — up from the current tax rate of $5.99 per $1,000 in property, the rate staff had used to create the proposed $17.8 million budget.

City Council member Lance Smith suggested starting budget discussions with the higher tax rate, noting it still wouldn't bring in the same revenue as the current year because of falling property values.

And, he noted, "we can always come back later and lower" the tax rate before the budget year begins Oct. 1.

Council members Jodi Wilkeson and Charles Proctor agreed with Smith, voting for the $6.25 rate.

Council president Kenneth Compton, who praised the financial document as a "beautiful budget," voted against the higher rate. Council member Ken Burgess was absent.

The proposed budget restores a police department administration position that was cut last year and adds a deputy manager to the Zephyrhills Municipal Airport, while also cutting three staff positions – two vacancies in public works and one full time spot in the planning department focusing on economic development.

Drumm is considering eliminating the planning department position because of a reduced workload and the possibility of the council agreeing to help fund the creation of an economic development group, which would include an economic development director. One option for the city's involvement calls for a financial contribution of $100,000, the majority of which is a one-time expense and comes out of the city's savings, Drumm said.

The council will discuss the proposed budget in a workshop after its Aug. 13 meeting. Public hearings are set for Sept. 10 and 24.

Zephyrhills starts budget talks with higher tax rate 07/31/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 8:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pasco commuters watch out: Broken water main restricts State Road 52

    Public Safety

    NEW PORT RICHEY — A water main break has caused a portion of State Road 52 — one of the busiest roads in Pasco County — to buckle on Thursday afternoon, reducing three lanes of westbound traffic to just one.

  2. Man taken into custody after live streaming drive along Clearwater Beach sand

    Public Safety

    CLEARWATER — Clearwater Police took a man into custody Thursday afternoon after, they said, he drove his car over beach chairs and umbrellas along Clearwater Beach and streamed it on Facebook.

    Clearwater Police took a suspect into custody Thursday afternoon after he drove along Clearwater Beach to Caladesi Island, running over beach chairs and umbrellas. [Courtesy of Clearwater Police]
  3. Once trapped and wounded, manatee and calf return to the wild

    Wildlife

    NEW PORT RICHEY — The small crowd readied cameras and craned their necks, peering over heads and through bodies to try and catch a glimpse. Brittany Pharel, 10, wanted to see the hulking manatees, a mother and her calf, laid out on blue tarps Thursday along the edge of the Pithlachascotee River.

    Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo's associate veterinarian Lauren Smith, 33, examines the heart rate of a manatee calf named Cottee just before it was released into the waters of the Pithlachascotee River on Thursday. 
Cottee's mother Pascow was released at the same time in New Port Richey. 
The pair became stranded in May and the mother was found wounded. They needed to be rehabilitated before they could be released into open waters. [ALESSANDRA DA PRA  |   Times]
  4. Gov. candidate Chris King: Climate change is biggest threat to Florida's economy

    Blogs

    Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris King today made his case for how economic growth and fighting climate change go hand in hand. His rivals for the Democratic nomination, Gwen Graham, …

    Winter Park businessman Chris King and his family
  5. Editorial: Buckhorn's proposed tax increase is too high for Tampa

    Editorials

    Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn's proposed city budget for 2018 confronts some hard realities of the times. With debt payments looming and another fire station opening in fast-growing north Tampa, the City Council needs to consider raising property taxes, especially with the prospect of another homestead exemption around the …

    Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s proposed city budget for 2018 confronts some hard realities of the times. But it seems overly ambitious, and the City Council should be cautious about raising taxes too much in a single swoop.