Oops, Whitehead forgot these

February 11, 2007

big butt

In the daily newspaper, Commissioner Mike Whitehead defended his and his fellow Escambia County Commissioners’ decision to not rollback taxes when they had $31 million windfall in property tax revenues – Viewpoint: Necessities, mandates took majority of tax increase. According to Commissioner Whitehead, there was no room in the county’s $455 million budget to make cuts. They needed every penny to meet state mandates and buy necessities.

What Whitehead doesn’t mention in the viewpoint is the County also has another $11.1 million in other revenue increases:

Other taxes: up $5.4 million

License & permits: up $613K

Charges for services: up $3.6 million

Fines & Forfeitures: up $40K

Misc revenue: up $1.5 million

They did reduce what they took out of fund balances by $21.7 million and from intergovernmental accounts by $5.4 million.

The General Fund Reserve Balance is budgeted to increase from $17.1 million to $31.7 million! The reserves in 2003-04 were $8.3 million.

There was/is money available to rollback property taxes.

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