The City of St. Petersburg and other locals government enjoyed increased property tax revenue for years recently, doubling their budget from 2000-2007. As their income grew, the taxpayers suffered while government spending spiraled ever upward. Foreclosures went up. The hundreds of millions taken from the economy to fund big government took its toll as investments crashed and unemployment predictably soared. Not once was there a dramatic story in the then St. Pete Times lamenting what the City would do to prevent “the surplus” in ’00-07 so the taxpayers could keep more of their own money. There was no “People’s Budget Review” asking what should be done to “adjust the millage rate” so the surplus would not grow out of control. How times have changed. Now several times a week there is some story worrying about “the shortfall” in tax revenues that will occur next year. Citizens groups are conducting surveys designed to give the politicians an excuse to increase taxes and fees.
Come and testify at the next meetings
Tax and Fee hikes for 2011-2012 local government budgets.
Prepared for more? If not, stand up and say no!
Meanwhile, on the home front, libraries, parks, police station construction and basic government services suffer while government employee benefits stay up and paid!
It has become abundantly clear that the elected officials in St. Pete are poised to ensure that an expected $13 million tax cut does not materialize. The Tampa Bay Times is reporting that the City Council is hiring a private attorney, and former General Counsel for St. Petersburg to craft an ordinance to impose a $5-10 monthly fee on property owners to raise $12.1 million per year. If they can’t get that passed, they WILL be raising the property tax rate this year to prevent a still needed $13 million tax cut for the citizens. It is an absolute certainty that IF the economy can ever recover from the ongoing assault by our government, this fee would never go away and there would never be any interest in cutting “surpluses” again.
Citizens are going to have to start getting active if they wish to stave off this coming tax hike. They will need to contact the City Council and Mayor and show up at the City Budget Workshops on 5/16 and 6/13.