Hillsborough commissioners say no to slight tax hike
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07/17/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday | Listen to this entire show:

Some Hillsborough County Commissioners expressed alarm today that their current budget for the next fiscal year calls for a tax increase. So they vowed to their constituents that would not happen.

Eric Johnson, the management and budget director for the county, said the millage rate is going up slightly because the taxable property values have declined. That means the millage is going up enough to actually lead to a slight tax increase. He said that the Commission would need to cut more money from their budget to ensure that taxes don’t go up next year.

Commissioner Rose Ferlita said she was surprised when she read the St. Petersburg Times today that called attention to the small tax increase. She said she warned the board about that possibility last month when discussing the issue.

Commissioner Brian Blair said it was important that the county tighten its belt.

Commissioner Jim Norman, who has been outspoken in recent years about how proud he’s been that the county has not raised local taxes in over a decade, said he wanted to make sure that there was no danger in a tax increase by cutting another $50,000 from the 2009 fiscal year budget.

The Commission is holding a public hearing on the budget right now.

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