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Lege previously pointed out that while other Florida cities raised property taxes to offset the drop in property values, Sarasota main- tained its tax rate and, instead, cut services and employees. The city preferred to let go more than a quarter of its staff than to raise taxes. While the property tax roll is expected to rise again this year, as it did last year, Lege does not anticipate the increased revenue will cope with the subsidies needed for the Municipal Auditorium or the Parking Department — to say nothing of what a homeless shelter will cost the city, either directly or in policing efforts The head-scratching moment came at the end of the meeting. The budget presentation was over, and a team from the city's auditing firm of Purvis, Grey and Co. came forward to explain its review of the fiscal year finances ending Sept. 30, 2013. Auditor Joe Welch said his team had "no findings; it was a clean report." While not unprecedented, it is uncommon for independent auditors of city or county finances to come back without a quibble. Any student receiving an A+/100 percent grade on a tough test knows how rare it is. But when it came time for the City Commission to accept the glowing report from the inde- pendent auditors, one member took the tack of "No." Mayor Shannon Snyder, without any explanation, voted against accepting the audi- tor's report. He then adjourned the meeting. As he left the City Commission Chambers, The Sarasota News Leader asked Snyder why he voted against accepting the audit. He said, "No comment." % Manuel R. Chepote, LUTCF Chepote Insurance Inc. 1300 Main Street • Sarasota, Florida (941) 366-0100 Serving Sarasota & Manatee Counties Click for driving directions Auto • Home • Life Renters • Motorcycles Flood • Business • Annuities Financial Services Sarasota News Leader April 18, 2014 Page 56

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