Hillsborough County Commission intent on proving property tax cut relief by Mitch E. Perry

WMNF Drive-Time News Monday



Hillsborough County Commissioners today unanimously approved a motion to create a millage reduction fund that will be used to reduce any property tax increase later this year.


The motion has been spearheaded by Commissioners Jim Norman and Brian Blair.


But before it was approved, Commissioner Ken Hagen expressed some reservations (roll tape#1 o.q.”to take effect”)


And those would seem to be strong and serious reservations.  Under the Governor’s proposal to double Florida’s homestead tax exemption, ,some local counties say they could lose millions of dollars in tax revenues. 


Manatee County says they would lose 11 million  and Sarasota, 14 million.  And Crist’s proposal on putting a cap on tax assessments could cost Sarasota $30 million dollars.


But despite that possibility, County Commissioners decided to go ahead and create a fund that could ultimately be distributed to taxpayers at the end of the year. 


Commissioners say they are spending too much of the taxpayers money.  County growth went up 16% last year, while the population grew by only around 5%.


Jim Norman (roll tape#1 o.q.”enough’s enough”)


Commissioner Mark Sharpe said that too many jobs in Hillsborough County are service based, and an emphasis should be on making the area more desirable for businesses with higher end jobs (roll tape#3 o.q.”someone’s gonna have to pay”)


Commission Brian Blair said people are leaving the Tampa Bay Area because it’s too expensive, and it’s the County Commission’s job to bring down property taxes

(roll tape#4  o.q.”businesses folding”)


But Commissioner Ken Hagen said that the Commission needs to realize that it has certain priorities that need to be funded (roll tape#5 o.q.’we have to prioritize”)


Nevertheless, Hagen agreed with his fellow commissioners in allowing the Policy to make property tax reduction



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