Discussion on reducing ad valorem taxes by Mitch E. Perry06/01/06
Today 2 Republicans on the generally non-ideological Tampa City Council endorsed the idea of reviewing a classic GOP plank: reducing taxes.
City Councilman Sean Harrison introduced the idea of having the City Council and Mayor Pam Iorioâ€™s administration review the possibility of reducing ad valorem taxes in Tampa, which have not been adjusted in any way since 1989. (roll tape#1 o.q.â€?very timely topic right nowâ€?)
Councilwoman Rose Ferlita chimed in with a strong second for Harrisonâ€™s motion, saying the Tampa taxpayer deserves a break (roll tape#2 o.q.â€™tax a little bitâ€?)
Ferlita is stepping down from the Council later this year. She is running as a Republican for a seat on the Hillsborough County Commission, where she faces spirited competition from former Chamber of Commerce spokesman Brad Swanson.
Although the resolution offered up by Harrison was simply for a dialogue to discuss reducing the millage on property taxes, a couple of Council members spoke out immediately in denouncing the very idea.
Linda Saul-Sena said that she just learned recently that Tampa is self-insured when it comes to damages incurred from hurricanes, and believed that a priority should be in supporting that issue right now (roll tape#3 o.q.â€? safe endowmentâ€?)
Furthermore, Saul-Sena said that the call for reducing ad valorum taxes was irresponsible (roll tape#4 o.q.â€?as a Cityâ€?)
Councilman John Dingfelder said he wrote to the Iorio Administration about a month ago about the possibility of rolling back the millage in some small way. He said he was informed about that because of hurricane issues, higher construction , insurance and gas costs, it probably isnâ€™t something the Mayor supports. However , he said he still thinks its worth discussing in a public hearing (roll tape#6 o.q.â€?then we shouldnâ€™tâ€?)
But responding even stronger in her opposition to the idea of a property tax reduction was Mary Alvarez.(roll tape#5 o.q.â€?itâ€™s not a good time to do thisâ€?)
The Council voted 5-2 to have a discussion on possibly reducing ad valorem taxes in 2 weeks time.