The taxpayers of the City of St. Petersburg are being set up for a tax hike by left wing special interest groups and politicos. After doubling property taxes from the years 2000-2007 on the back of an artificially induced housing bubble, the usual suspects are saying it is time to raise the property tax rate in St. Petersburg. There are complaints of a $13 million “shortfall” that will threaten government services. So now even Mayor Foster is speaking openly of increasing the millage rate or placing a monthly fire fee on each building. No City Council members are speaking out against raising the tax rate and most are favoring it. Of course the Tampa Bay Times is calling for a tax hike along with local left-wing groups that have coalesced into the “People’s Budget Review”.
Come and testify at the next meetings or
be outnumbered by the tax-hikers.
- 5/16 Roberts Recreational Center 6 pm (1246 50th Ave. N.)
- 6/13 Manhattan Casino 6 pm (642 22nd St. South)
Of course, none of these groups will mention the fact that St. Petersburg property tax revenues peaked in 2007 at $103 million and are finally starting to fall back to more reasonable levels. The tax hikers all complain of falling tax revenue but never complained as the tax revenue went up; in fact they vociferously and aggressively fought attempts by many in the community to cut revenues. They do not mention that property tax revenues from 1992-2000 hovered around $50 million per year. This was during a time when the economy was booming and the city population had grown. The Tax hikers never acknowledge that out population is shrinking in St. Petersburg, down 1.4% this last decade.
The Tax hikers need to always keep this graph in mind when they are proposing to “adjust the millage rate” to fix the “Shortfall”.
Some facts to keep in mind:
- Taxes are still higher than they were for over a decade.
- The local government rode the “Housing bubble” and doubled the size of government by 2007.
- Now they are complaining they will have a “$13 million shortfall” next year.
- This is a FAKE shortfall. There is still room to cut taxes back to year 2000 levels adjusted for inflation and population.
- Property tax collections peaked at $103 million in St. Pete in 2007.
- Utilities like water, sewer and garbage pay their own ways through fees, not taxes. They are not part of the equation on property taxes.
- Government worker benefits and salaries are up to $228.5 million in 2012 from $204 million in 2004.
- The Average salary and benefit for City workers is $74,000 while the average private citizen of St. Pete earns $24,900 a year in salary!
So who is the “People’s Budget Review”? There will be more to come on this, but here is the list of logos posted on their website. It is a typical collection of tax hiking big spenders who benefit from government largesse. Their Survey on the budget is very biased and will be analyzed later this week on the Sun Beam Times. Take the Survey at www.Peoplesbudgetreview.org if you want to influence the results.