Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

Tampa City Council agrees to millage rate increase, albeit a lower one than originally proposed

With less than two weeks before the new fiscal year begins, Tampa’s City Council voted Monday night to advance a budget raising property taxes for the first time in 29 years.

However, the increase would not be as much as originally proposed by Mayor Bob Buckhorn.

The Council opted to support the $974.2 budget plan which raises the millage rate from $5.7326 to $6.3326 per $1,000 of assessed value.  Keep Reading

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Ed Hooper raised $51,000 in August for state Senate bid

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Looking to return to Tallahassee next year in a Senate seat, former Rep. Ed Hooper, a Clearwater Republican, raised $51,400 in August, according to a newly filed finance report.

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Andrew Gillum didn’t appreciate Rick Scott’s taking a ‘swipe’ at him last week

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Tallahassee Mayor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum believes Rick Scott did a relatively good job leading Florida through the impact of Hurricane Irma, but he didn’t think much of the Governor’s verbal shot at him last week. “Up until the time when he took a swipe at me, he was doing well,” Gillum said Saturday night at a VIP reception  before the Hillsborough County Democratic Executive Committee Kennedy-King dinner. “I thought that the Governor was doing what a governor should…

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Bill Galvano, Jim Boyd backing James Buchanan in HD 72

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

A couple more lawmakers came out in support of Sarasota Republican James Buchanan in the special election for House District 72, which was vacated by Alex Miller Sept. 1. Future Senate President Bill Galvano endorsed Buchanan, saying that he knows the real estate agent and business owner “will be ready to hit the ground running” if elected to the Florida House.

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Irma’s damage a reminder of Florida economy’s vulnerability

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Florida’s economy has long thrived on one import above all: People. Until Irma struck this month, the state was adding nearly 1,000 residents a day — 333,471 in the past year, akin to absorbing a city the size of St. Louis or Pittsburgh. Every jobseeker, retiree or new birth, along with billions spent by tourists, helped fuel Florida’s propulsive growth and economic gains. Yet Hurricane Irma’s destructive floodwaters renewed fears about how to manage the state’s population boom as the…

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Lawmakers likely to face tough budget

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A key economist offered a sobering message Friday to state lawmakers: Forget having extra cash for next year’s budget. A long-range financial analysis projected that lawmakers would have a relatively slim $52 million surplus as they put together the 2018-2019 budget. But that was before Hurricane Irma blew through the state early this week.

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Four Florida teams in AP Top 25 poll; Alabama firmly on top

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Voters in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll shuffled the deck this week, but the Alabama Crimson Tide is still firmly the top-ranked team in college football. While no teams from Florida are ranked in the top 10, four schools are in the top 25. Florida State earned the highest rank of the four, coming in at number 12, down one spot from a week ago. The Seminoles, who have not played in two weeks, dropped a spot after their…

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