As a member of a group of concerned residents of Pinellas County I have attended several property tax budget hearings over the last several weeks. In each there has been a common theme, which was once again echoed in Tuesday nights school Board Budget Hearing.
Spend Spend Spend
Spend $187 million more than last year
Spend 70% more in the last 5 years
Spend until the residents of Pinellas County can no longer afford to live here.
The other common theme is the voice of the voting residents of Pinellas County, which was also once again echoed in Tuesday nights School Board Budget Meeting.
Stop Stop Stop
Stop yearly double digit spending increases.
Stop hiding behind a 2% decrease in the millage rate which is an attempt to deceive the residents of Pinellas County into thinking that they are receiving a tax cut when in fact the School Board will spend $187 million more than last year.
Stop destroying the economy in the very place we all live by supporting uncontrolled spending.
I would like to quote the following, which is taken directly from the Notice of Proposed Property Taxes or Trim Notice:
"The purpose of these public hearings is to receive opinions from the general public and to answer questions on the proposed tax change and budget PRIOR TO TAKING FINAL ACTION. Each taxing authority may AMEND OR ALTER its proposals at the hearing."The voting residents of Pinellas County are tired of hearing what cannot be done, we want to hear what can and must done. So like Pinellas County that has pledged to its citizens to eliminate the proposed spending increases and adopt the rolled back budget it was time for each of the School Board members to be the responsible public servants that we have elected, listen to the public and strike down the $187 million in additional spending, amend the proposal, and adopt the rolled back Budget.
In Spite of a spirited attempt by Board Members Mary Russell and Janet Clark to lower the tax rate the Board approved the $187 Million dollar increase. Board member Mary Brown was seemingly unaware that the public hearings are intended for public input prior to taking final action, her mind as well as the other 3 board members was already made up.
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