Bluffs' Revenue Drop Sets Stage for Budget
By Leo Coughlin
BELLEAIR BLUFFS - It was hardly news, but Pam Dubov, Pinellas County's Property Appraiser, confirmed at the City Commission workshop meeting Monday night that ad valorem revenues for this city will be down about 10 percent for fiscal year 2011.
Dubov has been appearing at local government meetings bringing the unpleasant news that reduced property values are resulting inevitably in reduced revenue based on previous millage rates.
There are only two options in the situation - cut spending or raise taxes and raising taxes is anathema to elected officials.
Like all other local jurisdictions, the City Commission will be scrambling to produce a budget for the fiscal year beginning in October.
"We'll just have to try working miracles," Mayor Chris Arbutine said.
He said there would probably be some projects that were being looked at that would have to be deferred and did not know yet where spending cuts would take place.
"I am hoping we will not have to do anything too drastic, or go into our reserves," Arbutine said.
The commission will begin discussing the 2011 budget at next week's regular meeting.
Arbutine made liaison assignments Monday night with Taylor Shimkus, the new face on the commission, assigned to administration, Susie Sofer to fire, Joe Barkley to police and Jack Nazario to public works.
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