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THE QUARTER-BILLION-DOLLAR GAME With two members having resigned and three absent, five members of the CRA Extension Study Committee ponder the fate of a quarter of a billion in tax dollars during their Oct. 8 session. Photo by Stan Zimmerman ANALYSIS: NEW CHAIRMAN TAKES REINS OF THE CRA EXTENSION COMMITTEE By Stan Zimmerman City Editor David Merrill resigned Friday, Oct. 4, as the chairman of the Downtown Community Redevelopment Area Extension Study Committee. It sounds dry as dust until you realize as much as a quarter of a billion local tax dollars are at stake. Merrill and nine others were entrusted with crafting a recommendation on the future of a revenue scheme that has poured millions into downtown Sarasota, but which faces expiration in 2016. Because the scheme melds city and county property tax revenue, any radical change would have impacts on the budgets of both local governments. Thus, despite the dreary name of the committee, people who "follow the money" We lost one member because we w e r e w a t c h i n g started looking off-topic. I ask us to stay closely when Merrill to our charge and keep to that as best we began taking heat can. I don't want to see more negative from the Sarasota conversation that gets in the way of County Commission. presenting our ideas. His job was to make a recommendation Andy Dorr Chairman about the future CRA Extension Study Committee of the Community

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