Oops, Whitehead forgot these

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.