Sit back, chew your food and swallow gently. The following is going to make you choke. Pinellas County has just released its budget proposal for 2007. A whopping 2 BILLION DOLLARS (in round numbers). That is over a 100 percent increase over last year. Now that you are all choked up, how about some heartburn. SEVEN HUNDRED, SEVENTY-FIVE MILLION (round numbers) is derived from --- you guessed it --- YOUR property taxes.
Don't worry, it's going to good use. How about the $2,000 palm trees and various shrubs for the center median on Keene Road? Pay someone to water it, and then pay someone to maintain it. Then, next year's budget will be short on funds, no water or maintenance and it will look like crap. And believe me, there will be a budget shortage in the near future because we can't continue to tax, tax and tax.
On a lighter note --- an update on the local real estate market. As of July 10, there were 808 condo units on the market as active. In addition, there were 76 under contract or pending sale. From June 1 to July 10, there were 30 units that changed ownership (sold).
Hopefully, the Federal Reserve has stopped raising interest rates and maybe, just maybe, that will give the real estate market a little poke in the right direction.
Ric Cornelius is the Broker/Manager of Sand Key Realty Sales and Rentals, Inc. Sand Key Realty has three offices with 40 agents. One office is at 740 S. Gulfview Blvd., Clearwater Beach, 727-443-0032; the second office is at 2701 Gulf Blvd., Indian Rocks Beach, 727-595-5441; and the third office is at 309 Belleview Blvd., Belleair, 727-461-4200.
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