Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Spring Hill fire board rejects price of tax vote

SPRING HILL — Facing a deadline for a special election on a critical taxing issue, Spring Hill commissioners on Tuesday balked at committing any money toward printing the ballots, saying they lacked the necessary information to do so.

In an emergency meeting to deal with the district's ongoing taxation troubles, commissioners complained that they had not been told before about the $46,962 that Supervisor of Elections Annie Williams says is due Thursday to the company that would print the ballots.

"This is unacceptable," commissioner Amy Brosnan said angrily. "There's no invoice, no paperwork. I don't feel this is good business."

Brosnan's sentiments were echoed by other board members who agreed that they wanted to see more complete figures before they were willing to make a decision.

Fire Chief Mike Rampino said he had been in contact with Williams' office but had yet to receive anything in writing concerning the ballot costs.

"Everything I know I've learned over the phone," Rampino said. "And some of the figures I've gotten have changed two or three times."

The fire board is battling a tight time line to set up a special election asking Spring Hill voters once again to give it the taxing authority that the board was denied in an election last year.

The board initially wanted a traditional polling election but the elections office said there was not enough time to do so. The board then decided to go with a mail-out ballot.

The ballots would be dropped at the post office on May 25, and must be returned by June 14.

That is, unless a judge decides to extend for a year an interlocal agreement with Hernando County that has allowed the county to collect property taxes to finance operations. The agreement is set to expire Sept. 30.

The extension would allow the taxing referendum question to be on the ballot during a regularly scheduled election in 2012.

Last week, the fire board agreed to commit up to $250,000 toward the special election while its attorney, Andrew Salzman, works toward getting the issue before Circuit Judge William T. Swigert in Ocala.

Meanwhile, the clock continues to tick on the district.

Rampino said that Salzman has filed briefs for a preliminary hearing before Swigert on Monday. That is the same day that the district must provide its ballot files to Advance Ballot Solutions.

Should the election be canceled, the district would be refunded only $6,419.54 of what it paid.

"We're definitely between a rock and a hard place," commission chairman John Pasquale said.

The referendum, if held, would once again ask Spring Hill voters for the authority to levy taxes up to 2.5 mills, which is identical to the question voters rejected last August.

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

Spring Hill fire board rejects price of tax vote 05/03/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 3, 2011 8:20pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. No toll lanes north of downtown Tampa in three of four interstate proposals

    Transportation

    TAMPA — Express lanes may not be coming to downtown Tampa after all. Or at least not to the stretch of Interstate 275 that goes north through Bearss Avenue.

    Seminole Heights resident Kimberly Overman discusses the new interstate options with V.M. Ybor resident Chris Vela (left), Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp and HNTB consultant Chloe Coney during a Tampa Bay Express meeting Monday night at the Barrymore Hotel. [CAITLIN JOHNSTON  |  Times]
  2. No lack of issues facing St. Petersburg's six council candidates

    Elections

    ST. PETERSBURG — The six candidates for City Council gathered Monday evening in the very chamber to which they aspire to serve.

    St. Petersburg City Council candidates (from left)  Brandi Gabbard and Barclay Harless in District 2; Jerick Johnston and incumbent council member Darden Rice in District 4; and Justin Bean and Gina Driscoll of District 6. All six candidates appeared at Monday night's forum at City Hall sponsored by the League of Women Voters. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]

  3. Iraq's Kurds vote on independence, raising regional fears

    World

    IRBIL, Iraq — Iraqi Kurds voted Monday in a landmark referendum on supporting independence, a move billed by the Kurdish leadership as an exercise in self-determination but viewed as a hostile act by Iraq's central government. Neighboring Turkey even threatened a military response.

    People celebrate Monday after voting closed in a referendum on independence in Irbil, Iraq.
  4. North Korean diplomat says Trump has 'declared war'

    War

    UNITED NATIONS — North Korea's top diplomat said Monday that President Donald Trump's weekend tweet was a "declaration of war" and North Korea has the right to retaliate by shooting down U.S. bombers, even in international airspace.

    North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, center, speaks outside the U.N. Plaza Hotel in New York on Monday.
  5. Pinellas grants St. Pete's request to add millions to pier budget

    Local Government

    Times Staff Writer

    The Pinellas County Commission has granted St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman's request to dedicate millions more toward the city's new pier.

    The St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday  voted 7-1 to appropriate $17.6 million for the over-water portion of the Pier District. This is a rendering of what the new Pier District could look like. [Courtesy of St. Petersburg]