CLEARWATER - Citizen complaints about the City budget and their property tax bills have not gone unheard this year. On the heels of the Pinellas County Commissioners decision to reduce the County budget, the staff and Council of the City of Clearwater are prepared to do the same.
During Monday's City Council work session, City Manager Bill Horne enumerated $1.7-million that could be cut from the planned 2006/07 budget, reducing the millage rate an additional .2 mills for a total .5 mill tax rate reduction.
Budget Director Tina Wilson proposed reducing the planned salary budget by $500-thousand, the road millage by $500-thousand, taking a planned one-time contribution to Ruth Eckerd Hall of $300-thousand from retained earnings rather than the general fund, and funding $400-thousand in capital improvements to the Sailing Center from Penny for Pinellas.
Those budget cuts would reduce the City's property tax rate an additional .2 mills, to a total of 5.25 mills.
The second and final City of Clearwater budget hearing will be held tonight during the regular City Council meeting, 6PM in Council chambers in City Hall. Members of the public are invited to speak on the budget or any of the items on the meeting agenda. The Council meeting agenda can be found on the City's web site at http://www.myclearwater.com/muniagenda/meetings.aspx .
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