Sarasota News Leader

12/06/2013

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Sarasota News Leader December 6, 2013 "All these projects were voted on by the voters [in referendum]," noted Garnham. "Does the City Commission have the ability to add projects? Can they diminish some and add new ones that were not in the referendum?" Page 52 The following year, the LOST revenue dropped to $6.4 million, and the year after that, to $5.2 million. Today the LOST levy from the 1-cent hike in the sales tax is producing about $5.6 million, "The commission has the ability to do that, but so the fund has stabilized, but it is still bringit requires a public hearing," said Strickland. ing in sums well below boom-time levels. With stable income, though, it is no longer necesThe LOST funds are audited annually, and no sary to slash spending. discrepancies have been reported. Instead, this year the City Commission jugIn the immediate past, the commission's gled the money in April and moved more rationale for moving money was easy to than $1 million from streets to shorelines. understand. The planned-for level of funds It then held a public hearing in September, simply was not there. In the mid-decade bust, and by December the Citizens Oversight Tax people spent less and LOST revenues tumCommittee was powerless to complain. bled. In the 2006-07 fiscal year, LOST revenue was $7.3 million. That was the year citizens The committee will meet again next re-upped the tax for 15 more years. December. % Shoreline stabilization at O'Leary's Tiki Bar and Grill also will benefit from changes in plans for LOST revenue. File photo

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