Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando voters support mosquito control, but defeat environmental lands measure

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County voters strongly supported a special taxing district to pay for mosquito control Tuesday, but said they were against another to continue the acquisition and maintenance of environmentally sensitive lands.

Each of the proposals would add no more than a tenth of a mill to property tax bills, which would equal $10 in tax for the owner of a home with a taxable value of $100,000.

Both of the tax questions were for programs that already exist.

In 1988, Hernando voters approved the one-tenth-of-a-mill tax for environmentally sensitive lands to last for 30 years. But during the recent years of tight budgets, the county stopped acquiring new land.

Instead, the commission approved using some of the funds to maintain several parks, including Linda Pedersen Park and Lake Townsen Preserve, taking some of the pressure to pay for park maintenance off the general fund.

Then last year, as the county's revenue fell further, the commission agreed to take the tax levied for sensitive lands and transfer it to pay for mosquito control, again helping the general fund.

At the same time, commissioners vowed to ask voters what they preferred, but the outcome of the referendums do not bind the commission.

If the commission follows the will of voters, it will have to decide whether to fund the sensitive lands program out of the general fund or end it. On the other hand, officials have said that the mosquito control issue is one that deals with health, safety and welfare and have pointed to recent signs of dangerous mosquito-borne illnesses in the area.

Within the past two months, two sentinel chickens in northwest Hernando County tested positive for Eastern equine encephalitis, and one in Brooksville was found carrying the West Nile virus. Both diseases are spread by infected mosquitoes, and both can be deadly to humans.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at behrendt@tampabay.com or (352) 848-1434.

Hernando voters support mosquito control, but defeat environmental lands measure 11/06/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 10:19pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. After Rick Scott veto, Tarpon Springs renews push for money to dredge Anclote River

    Local Government

    In a pocket formed at the end of a branch of the Anclote River, Kevin Meisman has seen the size of the boats coming by his family's business get smaller.

    Kevin Meisman, 37, looks out from the dock of his family’s business, Quality T-Tops & Boat Accessories, in Tarpon Springs. Meisman says that, without dredging along the Anclote River, the number of boats he can service is limited.
  2. Senator Tom Lee, R-Thonotosassa
  3. Video: How to make a Gin and Jam cocktail

    Bars & Spirits

    Looking for an easy cocktail to make at home this summer? Jam is a simple, low-key way to get the job done.

  4. Orlando prosecutor Aramis Ayala, far right, said she was "very well pleased" with her lawyer's case. "I violated no laws." [STEVE BOUSQUET | Times]
  5. PSTA foresees no cutbacks in bus service through 2021

    Transportation

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority budget unveiled the first look at next year's budget on Wednesday and the agency said it does not project any cuts to bus service through 2021.

    A Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority bus leaves the terminal at  3180 Central Ave. in St Petersburg in 2014. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]