Tampa City Councilman Harry Cohen warned the city’s budget vote Friday will have long-term effects. Cohen’s compromise proposal to have the Council vote on raising the millage rate by 0.475 broke a seven-hour stalemate just after midnight Friday morning on Mayor Bob Buckhorn‘s fiscal year 2018 budget.
Shortly after midnight Friday morning, the Tampa City Council voted 4-3 to raise property taxes for the first in 29 years.
For supporters of ‘home-rule’ style government, 2017 was a brutal year in Tallahassee. That’s why in June the Florida League of Cities named Tampa City Councilman Mike Suarez — as well as more than 70 other municipal officials from around the state — as recipients of their 2017 Home Rule Hero Awards.
On Thursday morning, Tampa City Council members will hold a budget workshop just hours before they could possibly vote on the first property tax increase in 29 years. Last week, Councilmembers narrowly approved (by a 4-3 vote) to increase the millage rate from $5.73 to $6.33 per $1,000 of assessed property value. That could add $105 to the average homeowner’s tax bill.
First-time candidate Aakash Patel has already proved one thing during his bid to win a seat on the Hillsborough County Commission: he knows how to raise money The 33-year-old Republican raised more than $41,000 for his campaign in August, bringing his total to $156,201. Add another $23,800 from his political committee, Elevate Tampa, and Patel has raised more than $180,000.
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn has rarely been at odds with the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce during his six-and-a-half years in office. But his proposal to raise property taxes in the city for the first time in 29 years is being rejected by the Chamber.
Even though Hurricane Irma was “downgraded” to a Category 1 storm by the time it ripped through the region last week, it has definitely made a financial impact in Hillsborough County. Preston Cook, Hillsborough County’s director of emergency management, said Wednesday that while the storm wasn’t nearly as fierce as initially feared, Irma damaged 287 single family homes, 140 mobile homes and 14 businesses. That adds up to a total of $8.9 million in property damages to date. The estimated…