Sarasota News Leader

05/10/2013

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Sarasota News Leader May 10, 2013 Page 34 But thanks to the Florida Legislature, the maximum cannot happen. There is a 3 percent cap on increases in the tax rates that provide a large fraction of city and county revenue. "Ad valorem taxes are not going to skyrocket," said Turner. "They can't by law." In other words, both the city and county are stuck in a legacy property tax trap. Put another way: Although commissioners could legally triple the tax rate — from 3 to 10 mils — it would take almost a century to for them to get there at 3 percent per year. Thus, prior fiscal prudence — keeping property tax millage rates low — now means a major source of government revenue is barely able to keep up with inflation's influence on expenses. If all other costs were held in check in a similar fashion, the situation would be financially stable. Unfortunately, nearly everywhere you City Commissioner Terry Turner. File photo Outgoing City Commissioner Terry Turner says the costs for the Police Department, whose headquarters (above) is on Adams Lane, are too high. Photo by Norman Schimmel

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