Belleair Shore Holds Tax Rate; Spending Down
By Leo Coughlin
BELLEAIR BLUFFS - Belleair Shore commissioners held the first of two final budget hearings September 15 and heard a report from their accounting firm that the town was in good financial shape with a solid reserve in per capita terms.
One of the elements pointed up in the town's financial picture is the extremely low rate of interest from the fund maintained by the state for the benefit of municipalities.
That fund suffered enormous losses and new reports indicate that many high-risk investments were made by state officials, putting in peril the savings of cities and towns like Belleair Shore.
"We had expected a return of something like four thousand dollars from that fund," Mayor John Robertson said, but he said the town got $1,750 instead.
Because of the town's adequate reserves this failing does not jeopardize the town's financial picture.
A millage rate of .6646 was approved, up from the current .5988. The rollback rate, which the commission, adopted is designed to produce the same amount of revenue that came in under the previous rate.
Keep in mind, Belleair Shore's rate is less than a mill and the adopted rate supports budget expenditures of $87,200, $2,200 less than last fiscal year.
A final hearing on the fiscal year 2011 budget will be held September 28. Robertson reported to his colleagues that Russ Livernois, chief of the Pinellas Suncoast Fire & Rescue, will be retiring but will stay on the job until a successor is named.
Robertson had high praise for Livernois who he said was a "unifying person." He also praised John Todia, chairman of the commission that overseas the fire department that serves Belleair Shore, Belleair Beach, Indian Rocks Beach and part of the mainland across the Intercoastal Waterway.
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