BELLEAIR BLUFFS - The City Commission Monday night at its workshop discussed an additional homestead exemption that will affect few people but demonstrates the pinch Floridians are feeling with taxes and rising insurance costs.
Currently, Belleair Bluffs relies almost exclusively on ad valorem taxes to fund city operations, unlike some jurisdictions that collect fees.
As to the additional homestead exemption it would be $25,000 and to qualify the taxpayer would have to be over 65 and have household income of less than $24,000 annually.
Mayor Chris Arbutine said he thought the measure which only went through the discussion stage at Monday's workshop would include only 10 to 20 people.
But the general discussion on taxes led to a move wherein Arbutine and City Clerk Debra Sullivan will research possible service fees that would possibly bring about a lowering of ad valorem rates.
Robert David, the city's public works director, announced that dog beach and the boat ramps on the causeway will close next Monday and be out of operation for two to three years while construction, which begins March 30, takes place on the new bridge and causeway road.
A special election scheduled for April triggered a discussion on the city's method of filling an empty commission seat.
Bret Nelson resigned and left an opening. That was filled when the commission appointed Hunt Brand, a former mayor and commissioner.
A special election will be held in April to fill the remaining 11 months of Nelson's term (until March, 2008).
In the meantime, Bob Russo and Troy Krotz, both incumbents, will vie for two commission seats along with Wally Witham, a former member of the commission.
Brand is expected to file for the April election, but the March election and timing for qualifying will perforce bar Russo, Krotz and Witham from running in April.
The city is still seeking applications from citizens to fill two alternate positions on the Board of Adjustment. Those interested should contact the city clerk's office.
A YMCA request to use the city hall's facilities for recreational activities was dumped when no representatives from the Y showed up.
The commission decided to try to re-open talks with Belleair to use that town's recreational facility in an attempt to renew plans along those lines that were talked of several years ago but fell through.
Return to Home Page
Return to Current Edition