Pasco projects in new state budget

Florida’s $91.5 billion budget, approved by the Florida Legislature, includes funding for just two of the projects that Pasco County requested. Legislators approved $1 million for the Land O’ Lakes U.S. 41 beautification project, and $1 million to improve the waterfront at Miller’s Bayou. Dade City received $5 million for the extension of Morningside Drive. While legislators approved the … [Read more...]

Zephyrhills economic summit puts focus on education

Fostering educational opportunities in Pasco County was the primary focus of the second annual Zephyrhills Economic Summit. Doing that begins with beefing up the Pasco County school district’s career and technical education programs, said Kurt Browning, superintendent of Pasco County Schools. “We need to put our career academies on steroids,” said Browning, one of several guest speakers at the … [Read more...]

State lawmaker offers overview of past legislative session

This past legislative session — and money flowing into Pasco County from the state’s record $88.7 billion budget for fiscal year 2019 — was the topic du jour for State Rep. Danny Burgess, during a recent appearance at a North Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce meeting. Burgess, who represents the House District 38 seat covering east Pasco and portions of central Pasco, highlighted a number of local … [Read more...]

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...]

Education is key issue at town hall

Education was a recurring theme during a recent town hall meeting that featured U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, State Rep. Danny Burgess, and State Sens. Wilton Simpson and Tom Lee. About 100 residents gathered inside the Pasco Middle School Auditorium on Aug. 22 to voice their thoughts and concerns with their local representatives, via a question-and-answer-style town meeting that lasted more than … [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...]

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...]

Commission race an open primary, other candidates qualify

A last-minute write-in candidate almost made the race for the Pasco County Commission District 4 race even more interesting than it already is. However, Grady Peeler Jr., pulled out of the race just as quickly as he entered last week. That leaves just Commissioner Henry Wilson Jr., to defend his seat against Mike Wells Jr., during an open primary in August that will allow all voters — no … [Read more...]