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Hernando Commission ‘leaving millions on the table’: Reader speaks out

Letters to the editor from Hernando County
Hernando County community news [Tara McCarty]
Published Oct. 15

Tax rate jumps 14 percent | Sept. 27 story

The Hernando County Commission is a spend, subsidize, blame, tax and spend-some-more commission.

Commissioners are more than willing to increase the property tax rate by 14 percent for existing residents, create a new flat tax for garbage, and increase water and sewer fees due to growth, but are unwilling to increase the impact fees designed to cover the cost of growth. They are leaving millions on the table that would reduce the need for property tax increases.

The county’s budget contains $84.9 million of capital projects for utilities, public works, solid waste and recycling, planning, transit and fire rescue. One has to ask how much of those projects are due to growth and would have been covered by impact fees instead of taxing existing residents.

The school board is asking to raise impact fees to pay for building the necessary schools for growth caused by the building boom. County commissioners are hesitating because they want to continue to subsidize their builder donors and realtor wives, relatives and buddies. The no-impact-fee commissioners claim that bringing impact fees up to 2019 levels would stifle growth, yet neighboring Pasco County continues to boom with impact fees more than double what Hernando charges.

If the commission doesn’t approve the increase in impact fees, the costs will fall on us, the taxpayers. They don’t care because they will continue to pass the buck. The school tax would be raised by the school board and not by them. The commissioners would then say: “Don’t blame us it’s the school board.” Yet they will be fully to blame. Remember that in 2020.

Anne Kraus-Keenan, Spring Hill


  1. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times (2018)
Hernando County School District Headquarters, Brooksville
    The district has also promised to look for ways to bring insurance costs down for 2021 and beyond.
  2. Workers begin construction in 2010 on what would become Winding Waters K-8. That was the last new public school built in Hernando County, which faces capacity strains as officials ask for impact fee raises to keep up with growth. Times
    With schools operating at 98 percent capacity, the proposed increase isn’t what school leaders want, but it is something.
  3. Commissioner Steve Champion ALICE HERNDEN  |  Special to the Times
    Commissioners also agree to declare Hernando County a Second Amendment sanctuary.
  4. The Secret Garden, overlooking a lively canal, provides scenic, airy dining at Silver Dolphin Restaurant & Country Store. Owner Yann Milcendeau, who designed and planted the space, says a restaurant needs "something different" to succeed. BETH N. GRAY  |  Special to the Times
    The Silver Dolphin & Country Store joins ZigZag Scallop, which opened four years ago.
  5. Mermaids perform their version of Hans Christian Andersons' classic fairy tale, 'The Little Mermaid,' in the underwater theater at Weeki Wachee Springs  State Park last week. Michele Miller
    River advocate says the city doesn’t work like a normal government and may be putting the Weeki Wachee River and springs in jeopardy.
  6. Beau, Vivi, Peter and Meredith are available for adoption at Tampa Bay area shelters. Times
    Tampa Bay area shelter pets
  7. George Dwyer stars as Jarvis Standish (left) and Scott Tilson as Marco Santiago (right) in 'American Heartbeat,' an original musical about a Marine Vietnam veteran and an undocumented immigrant who meet while vying for the same job. The show will be presented Nov. 22-24 at Stage West Community Playhouse in Spring Hill. Martha Velez
    ProComm Theatre Troupe presents ‘American Heartbeat.’
  8. Appalachian Road Show performs Nov. 29 during the Thanksgiving Bluegrass Festival at the Sertoma Youth Ranch in Brooksville. Shore Fire Media
    Things to do in Pasco and Hernando counties
  9. The Hernando County Utilities Department will host an open house Dec. 3 on plans to expand a county wastewater treatment plant. Barbara Behrendt
    Hernando County will hold a public information meeting Dec. 3 on the plans.
  10. Much work has been completed on the Selmon Extension project, but we still have a way to go before the construction and ongoing detours on Gandy Boulevard end by the projected fall 2020 completion date. MONIQUE WELCH  |  Monique Welch | Times
    The ongoing project along Gandy Boulevard began in February but still has a lot of work left before its projected fall 2020 completion date.