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Last chance to speak out on latest county budget

When county commissioners convene at 5:01 p.m. today to approve the 2004-05 Hernando budget, residents will have their final opportunity to comment on the $286-million spending plan.

The plan includes a single tax increase for ambulance service and applies only to residents who live outside the Spring Hill Fire Rescue District. The ambulance tax will rise from about 55 cents to 67 cents per $1,000 of assessed home value.

As a result of the increase, the owner of a $100,000 home who gets a $25,000 homestead exemption would pay an additional $8.68 annually.

Property-value-based assessments that apply to all county residents will remain at just over $8.42 per $1,000 of assessed home value. That means the owner of a $100,000 home with a $25,000 homestead exemption will continue to pay the county $631.53 annually.

That bill does not include taxes or fees residents pay to the school district and other taxing districts.

The meeting will be held at the County Government Building, 20 N Main St. in Brooksville. The budget, which takes effect Oct. 1, can be read at www.hernandocounty.us/bocc /budget/index.htm.

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