Make us your home page
Instagram

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 [email protected] 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

Loading...
  1. No. 16 USF hangs on at Tulane, off to first 7-0 start

    College

    NEW ORLEANS — After half a season of mismatches, USF found itself in a grudge match Saturday night.

    USF quarterback Quinton Flowers (9) runs for a touchdown against Tulane during the first half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH103
  2. Lightning buries Penguins (w/video)

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Ryan Callahan spent a lot of time last season rehabilitating his injured hip alongside Steven Stamkos, who was rehabbing a knee after season-ending surgery. During those hours, Callahan noticed two things about Stamkos: his hunger and his excitement to return this season.

    Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Slater Koekkoek (29) advances the puck through the neutral zone during the first period of Saturday???‚??„?s (10/21/17) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  3. Spain planning to strip Catalonia of its autonomy

    World

    BARCELONA, Spain — The escalating confrontation over Catalonia's independence drive took its most serious turn Saturday as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain announced he would remove the leadership of the restive region and initiate a process of direct rule by the central government in Madrid.

    Demonstrators in Barcelona protest the decision to take control of Catalonia to derail the independence movement.
  4. Funeral held for soldier at center of political war of words (w/video)

    Nation

    COOPER CITY — Mourners remembered not only a U.S. soldier whose combat death in Africa led to a political fight between President Donald Trump and a Florida congresswoman but his three comrades who died with him.

    The casket of Sgt. La David T. Johnson of Miami Gardens, who was killed in an ambush in Niger. is wheeled out after a viewing at the Christ The Rock Church, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017  in Cooper City, Fla. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP) FLMIH102
  5. Chemical industry insider now shapes EPA policy

    Nation

    WASHINGTON — For years, the Environmental Protection Agency has struggled to prevent an ingredient once used in stain-resistant carpets and nonstick pans from contaminating drinking water.

    This is the Dow chemical plant near Freeport, Texas. Before the 2016 election, Dow had been in talks with the EPA to phase out the pesticide chlorpyrifos, which is blamed for disabilities in children. Dow is no longer willing to compromise.