Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

For Spring Hill voters, time is now to decide on fire district taxing authority referendum

SPRING HILL — Two years ago, voters in Spring Hill gave the green light to creating a fire district independent of county oversight. Although the initiative garnered 57 percent approval, the question of whether to make Spring Hill Fire Rescue its own taxing authority was left to another time.

That time has come. On Aug. 24, voters will be asked to give the five-member fire board the power to set a property tax rate of up to 2.5 mills, the limit set by the state Legislature when it signed off on the 2008 referendum.

One mill produces $1 in tax for each $1,000 of taxable real property value.

Proponents of the referendum say it will remove the last vestiges of control by outside interests, leaving the district to make its own way. Opponents contend that a "yes" vote could pave the way for other assessments, including a tangible property tax on businesses. Such a measure was briefly enacted last year before the board reversed itself.

The issue has already drawn considerable fire on both sides. Last month, the union representing the district's firefighters and paramedics sent voters a mailer claiming that a "no" vote would cause the millage cap to jump to 2.75 mills. Union president Scott Edmiston wrote that a "yes" vote would be an affirmation by taxpayers that they "agree with the policy of keeping your property tax rate lower."

But according to assistant county attorney Jon Jouben, the county has only one more year of authority to collect property taxes on behalf of the district, and that it must abide by the 2.5 millage cap set by the Legislature. If the referendum fails, the independent Spring Hill Fire Rescue District must take its appeal to the Legislature, which will likely order that the taxing authority question be put back on the ballot in 2012.

The district's 2010-11 budget is banking on a raise from its present 2.268 mils to the 2.5 millage cap. But with declining property values, even that won't eliminate an estimated $500,000 budget shortfall. For now, the district has enough reserves to cover the deficit, but questions remain as to how it will meet its future budget needs.

Logan Neill can be reached at lneill@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1435.

AUTHORITY FOR SPRING HILL FIRE RESCUE AND EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES DISTRICT TO LEVY AD VALOREM TAXES

Shall the Spring Hill Independent Fire District be authorized to levy property taxes up to 2.5 mills on jurisdiction lands to provide fire and rescue services?

Yes

No

For Spring Hill voters, time is now to decide on fire district taxing authority referendum 08/10/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 10, 2010 5:04pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Clearwater Marine Aquarium receives $500,000 gift

    Human Interest

    CLEARWATER — The R.O. Jacobson Foundation donated $500,000 on Tuesday to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium's major expansion.

    The Clearwater Marine Aquarium received a $500,000 donation from the R.O. Jacobson Foundation toward its $66 million expansion.. [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]
  2. Arrests made in Spring Hill bank robbery; suspect admits to others

    Crime

    SPRING HILL — Two men from Alabama were arrested Wednesday after Hernando County deputies said they robbed a Spring Hill bank.

    John Goff, 46, was arrested Wednesday after deputies said he admitted to robbing a Spring Hill bank, as well as others in Florida.
  3. Electricity poles and lines lay toppled on the road after Hurricane Maria hit the eastern region of the island, in Humacao, Puerto Rico, Tuesday, September 20, 2017. The strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in more than 80 years destroyed hundreds of homes, knocked out power across the entire island and turned some streets into raging rivers in an onslaught that could plunge the U.S. territory deeper into financial crisis. [Associated Press]
  4. From the archives: Account of famed Riggs-King match heightens Tampa mob intrigue

    Tennis

    With Friday's opening of "Battle of the Sexes" — the movie starring Emma Stone and Steve Carrell about Billie Jean King's landmark 1973 tennis win over Bobby Riggs — we thought there might be renewed interest in this 2013 Peter Jamison story from the Tampa Bay Times.

    Emma Stone as Billie Jean King and Steve Carell as Bobby Riggs in "Battle of the Sexes."  [Melinda Sue Gordon, Fox Searchlight Pictures]
  5. Bowen: Humanitarian Roy Hardy raised hope, diminished hunger

    Obituaries

    The lines on Roy Hardy's resume are simple: retailer, rancher, amateur barbecue chef, recreational fisherman.

     Philanthropist Roy Hardy, shown here in 2007, stirs up the baked beans at a Kiwanis club charity fish fry. Mr. Hardy died Sept. 19 at the age of 93.