Divided BOCC approves millage, tax increase

Published: Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 11:49 AM.

Clerk of Courts Becky Norris cited several reasons she said accounted for the increase.

Those included $200,000 for a Public Works excavator; increases in Florida retirement system contributions over $200,000; pay raises pledged and budgeted last year and implemented this year on top of raises approved this year which combined for over $400,000; increased costs for landfill monitoring and more than $100,000 for new vehicles for the Gulf County Sheriff.

Commissioners Tan Smiley, Yeager and Carmen McLemore voted to approve the budget; Bryan and McDaniel dissented.

“It’s going to be hard to look people in the eye,” McDaniel said. “We’re just kicking (the issues) down the road.”

The deadlock was evident early as commissioners debated what had and had not been done to cut the budget and, most prominently in the discussion, lessen the burden on property taxpayers in favor of user or service fees.

“We need to shift some of the burden, the cost, from the taxpayer,” said Pat Hardman, president of the Coastal Community Association.

Hardman noted that commissioners had taken up several measures to do that – including adding to the gas tax, an increase to the bed tax, mandatory garbage – and failed to ratify any.

1 2 3 4 5 6

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

▲ Return to Top