Legislative forum covers wide spectrum of issues

Dozens of speakers signed up to draw attention to topics they think are important at Pasco County’s annual legislative delegation meeting. The topics ranged from fracking to Medicaid; the opioid epidemic to immigration; medical marijuana to homelessness; and, scores of budget requests. Some requests were for items vetoed by Gov. Rick Scott last year. Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco, for … [Read more...]

A chance to talk with Pasco’s state legislators

Get ready to quiz members of the Pasco County legislative delegation, or make a plea for a favorite cause or program. Pasco legislators will have their annual pre-session public meeting on Sept. 18 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Sunlake High School Gymnasium, 3023 Sunlake Blvd., in Land O’ Lakes. The annual get-together is an opportunity for residents, elected officials, representatives of city … [Read more...]

Land O’ Lakes community stage is ready for action

After years of persistence, Land O’ Lakes finally has a place where residents can gather to hear concerts, watch plays or gather for other community events. Construction of the Land O’ Lakes Community Stage is completed and the venue is now ready for groups to use it, said Sandy Graves, one of the prime movers behind getting the project done. Graves has been talking for decades about the … [Read more...]

Pasco County projects axed by Gov. Scott

Gov. Rick Scott signed an $83 billion budget for 2018 and used his veto pen to slash nearly $22 million earmarked for Pasco County projects. In total Scott struck out nearly $410 million from local projects across Florida. Pasco lost about $15 million for a new interchange to connect Overpass Road with Interstate 75, and $4.3 million for the Thomas Varnadoe Forensic Center for Education … [Read more...]

Homestead exemption could increase

A property tax savings could be on its way to Florida homeowners, if a statewide referendum in 2018 boosts homestead exemptions to a total of $75,000. But, what could be tax relief to homeowners could pose financial challenges for local governments. If approved, homeowners can add another $25,000 to the existing standard of $50,000 (approved by voters in 2008) for homestead exemption on … [Read more...]

Could homestead exemption be $75,000?

A proposed constitutional amendment to increase homestead exemptions to $75,000 could be a boon for homeowners, but a bust for local governments that stand to lose millions in property tax revenues. If approved, homeowners potentially could add another $25,000, excluding school taxes, to the current $50,000 homestead exemption. At least 60 percent of voters statewide would have to … [Read more...]

Education a key theme for upcoming session

Education was a recurring theme among speakers at a recent meeting held by the Pasco County Legislative Delegation before this year’s annual session. Local citizens and civic leaders voiced their concerns on this hot-button issue during a Jan. 18 gathering at Sunlake High School, with six local representatives to the state Legislature. Dozens of interest groups and local government leaders … [Read more...]

Pasco wants more state funding

Pasco County commissioners have approved a list of local priorities for the 2017 legislative session, seeking to add state funds to the county’s coffers. Commissioners want more state money for road construction, storm water improvements, efforts to fight blight and help the homeless population, and other projects. The list of county priorities is expected to be presented to the local … [Read more...]

Glimpsing the upbeat in a gloomy 2016

You don’t have to be a disappointed supporter of Hillary Clinton to have arrived at the notion that 2016 can’t end soon enough. I mean, lots of us got there long before Nov. 8. Simply put, 2016 was, in many respects, a rough year, and not just because of the rancor of the election. We needn’t revisit the particulars here. That’s for the news services, networks and major dailies. Let’s … [Read more...]

Setting the stage for community gatherings

Someday when the crowds gather to enjoy a school recital, or attend a concert, or watch a play — the stage at Land O’ Lakes Community Park will just be a fixture, a venue for events. But last week, the yet-to-be built stage was the star of the show. That’s when local politicians, community activists and interested residents gathered to celebrate the groundbreaking for the stage, which … [Read more...]