Taxpayers mostly spared wrath of tax increases
Hernando TodayThe issue: Commissioners, school board hold line on mill levy; fire board disappoints. Our opinion: In an election year, politicians' hearing seems to improve.
Published: July 31, 2010
Published: July 31, 2010
For months now, taxpayers have been worried that county commissioners might take the easy route to help fill a $1.4 million revenue shortfall by raising the mill levy.
Lo and behold, they made good on their promise not to.
Why is this such a good thing? Well, because now county officials will have to search out waste and redundancies to keep spending at bay. Instead of just throwing more taxpayer money at something, officials will have to examine every expenditure to ensure it's worth the money.
On the other hand, it should come as no surprise to Spring Hill residents that the Spring Hill Fire Rescue board is expected to raise its mill levy to the state-approved maximum 2.5 mills.
Just like the during the vote for independence two years ago, the union is putting out false information to confuse voters, and most on the board are union sympathizers.
Spring Hill residents might want to consider this move when the vote to allow the fire district to control its own millage rate is on the ballot in November. Expect the union to push for a voter-approved increase in 2012. They think Spring Hill voters are gullible enough to go along with it.
After all, look at the 2008 vote on independence.
The school board also voted to keep the same mill levy, despite it being the last year members could raise it without voter approval. The .25 mill increase would have brought in a little more than $2 million and cost a homeowner with homesteaded property valued at $125,000 about $9 more each year.
As tough as finances are going to be next year for local governments, the school board may have made a mistake by not at least considering the additional .25 mills.
Now it's too late. Local governments can lower but not raise the mill levy set last week.
If the economy continues to remain stagnant, getting voters to approve an increase next year might be akin to asking them to do homework. It's just easier to say no.
Still, under pressure to cut and watch every expense, the school district is likely to find places to save money that may not have been considered.
Despite the hike by the Spring Hill Fire Rescue District, most taxpayers should be pleased with next year's tax bill. Many will see dramatic reductions.
With that money being spent in the private sector instead of government, it should provide a boost to the local economy.
Thumbs up to our county commissioners and school board members for looking out for the taxpayers. Thumbs down to the fire district board and the union.