Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pasco voters reject extension of property tax for school operations

LAND O'LAKES — Pasco County voters soundly rejected the School Board's request to extend a local property tax for school operations.

The tax of 25 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value was projected to generate $5.5 million this year, enough to pay for 105 teaching positions. The board had asked voters for permission to continue the tax through 2012-13.

But a majority of voters took that option off the table Tuesday.

Superintendent Heather Fiorentino said she was not surprised with the result, given the poor economy. Still, she said, it will make running the district that much more difficult.

"But we'll deal with it the best we can," she said. "We've been dealing with a bad economy for the past three years."

The tax did have some support.

Lauren Levy of Land O'Lakes, for one, said she voted for the tax proposal.

"Anything to raise money to make the school system better," said Levy, who has two children in the school system. "I do not mind paying."

But the majority did not back the tax.

Retiree Donald Keene of Land O'Lakes wanted nothing to do with higher tax rates.

"I live on Social Security. We haven't had an increase in two years. But every time you turn around, there are more fees," Keene said. "I'm just against more taxes for anything."

To cope with dwindling property values and shrinking tax revenue, the Legislature allowed local school boards to impose the tax this year with a supermajority vote. But the districts needed voters' permission if they wanted to continue the tax for the next two years.

With the tax no longer at the board's disposal, Fiorentino and the board will have to look for alternative funding sources or more places to cut spending.

One idea is to eliminate some teaching jobs by requiring middle and high school instructors to teach six periods a day instead of five. Budget officials have estimated that move, which would require negotiations, could save $12 million.

Board members also have considered employee furloughs, as well as pay cuts and early retirement buyouts. District officials also plan to talk with lawmakers to find other solutions.

Jeffrey S. Solochek can be reached at or (813) 909-4614.

Pasco voters reject extension of property tax for school operations 11/02/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 9:45pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect


    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    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. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  2. Hopes fade after landslide destroys Chinese village (w/video)


    Crews searching through the night in the rubble left by a landslide that buried a mountain village under tons of soil and rocks in southwestern China found 15 bodies, but more than 110 more people remained missing.

    Vehicles and people line a road leading to the site of a landslide in Xinmo village in Mao County on Saturday in southwestern China’s Sichuan Province. More than 100 people remained missing after the village was buried under tons of rocks and soil.
  3. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  4. Thousands converge in two St. Pete locations celebrating LGBT rights

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom Rockhill didn't know what to expect Saturday, but by noon people were knocking on the door of his bar Right Around the Corner in Grand Central.

    (From left to right) Emma Chalut 18, gets a rainbow sticker on her cheek from her sister Ellie, 15 both of Jacksonville before the annual St. Pete Pride parade in downtown St. Petersburg on Saturday. This year the route was changed from the Grand Central and Kenwood area to Bayshore Drive.
[EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
  5. Retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald dies

    TALLAHASSEE — A former Florida Supreme Court justice, who wrote a decision that prevented lawyers from excluding jurors because of their race, has died.

    Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald died Saturday, the court said in a statement. He was 93.