News & Public Affairs


HART proposes reducing budget, yet increasing tax rate listen

08/22/11 Josh Holton
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority plans to increase the millage rate on a typical property owner by about 41 cents per year. That’s even though HART’s overall proposed budget is being reduced by 3.2 percent. Director of planning Mary Shavalier said a decrease in revenue from property taxes is making matters more difficult.

And Shavalier said HART may partner with other organizations to compensate for any additional service needs around the coun...

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Congress reaches a deal to raise the debt limit, but will it pass a vote? listen

08/01/11 Joshua Lee Holton
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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President Barack Obama and congressional leaders from both major parties have come to an agreement on a proposed budget deal that would cut trillions of federal dollars from the national budget over the next decade. The deal will increase the borrowing limit, preventing the government from defaulting on it’s debt for the first time in history. The measure would extend the current $14.3 trillion debt ceiling by up to $2.4 trillion...

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Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn presents 2012 budget to City Council listen

07/28/11 Joshua Lee Holton
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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This morning, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn presented his preliminary city budget for fiscal year 2012. This is the new mayor’s first proposed budget. Buckhorn pitched the budget to the City Council in downtown.

Mayor Buckhorn has been saddled with the task of eliminating a $34.5 million shortfall in next year’s budget; a challenge he plans to meet without layoffs, raised property taxes, or reduced public services. But he said that he owes a great deal...

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Hillsborough citizens speak out against after school program reductions listen

07/22/11 Kate Bradshaw
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Once again, Hillsborough County officials have had to grapple with some tough budget decisions this year. The county faces a $566 million reduction from last year’s budget due to a fall in property and sales tax revenues. The proposed county budget reflects some pretty tough cuts, and not everyone’s happy about them.

Nearly 75 people signed up to speak their minds before the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners, and nearly 300 attended. Many in attendance were well under five fee...


Hillsborough slogs through budget, capital costs see two-thirds cut listen

07/13/11 Kate Bradshaw
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Hillsborough County officials are rounding out another tough budget process to plan for the next two years. For the most part the picture isn’t as dire as it has been in recent years, but programs like public art and after school activities still face tough cuts.

Next year’s draft operating budget totals nearly $3 billion – that’s nearly half a billion less than that of last year. County Administrator Mike Merrill said declining property tax revenue is a major factor, which means t...

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Rick Scott signs Florida budget, slashes $600 million in line-item vetoes listen

05/26/11 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Republican Governor Rick Scott signed the state budget today. Florida lawmakers had cut nearly $4 billion from the budget for next fiscal year. But today in a private Republican Party of Florida event at The Villages, Scott announced he had vetoed $615 million in line items.

"There were 3,036 line items in the budget. 3,036. I know this because I looked at every single line item in the budget, and it took quite a ...


Tampa City Council gets bummer of a budget update listen

05/19/11 Kate Bradshaw
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Today the Tampa City Council heard some news that probably wasn’t too surprising: the city is woefully lacking in money. Tampa’s budget gap is in the tens of millions of dollars.

Budget officer Dennis Rogero told the council members he was cautiously optimistic on the local economy.

"Very slight growth anticipated with a anticipated continuation of a relatively high unemployment rate and a relatively small annual average increase anticipated for annual wages. So perhaps, depends on...

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Pinellas County survey shows county residents open to Fort DeSoto entry fee listen

05/17/11 Kate Bradshaw
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Local governments have been making tough decisions in recent years due to shrinking revenue streams. Many have had to cut services, staff, and programs with little public input. Last month, some Pinellas County residents got to weigh in on the debate on which parts of the county government they could live without, and which should stay. A consulting firm conducted a phone survey of hundreds of residents, and some of their findings were surprising. For example, researcher Sarah Lindemuth said ...

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Open phones to discuss results of 2011 Legislative session

05/09/11 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Friday)

Good morning, welcome to Radioactivity. I'm Rob Lorei. Today we'll open the phone lines and get your comments about the state legislative session which ended early in the morning this past Saturday.

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Corporate tax cut passes the Florida House listen

05/05/11 Nolan Ruark
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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The Florida House of Representatives passed a bill today that will give $1,100 in tax cuts to corporations.

The bill passed 110-5. Representative Carlos Lopez-Cantera said the popular bill would help small businesses.

"Thank you, Mr. Speaker, it's a wonderful day in the Florida House to have bi-partisan support for this very good bill that provides tax relief to the small businesses in the State of Florida. I want to thank our friends in the minority caucus who are participating with ...

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