The public will have a chance to tell Pasco County commissioners what they think about a proposed property tax hike and a nickel-a-gallon gas tax at a public hearing on Sept. 10.
Commissioners are likely to get an earful.
The county’s proposed property tax rate is 7.49 mills, up from last year’s rate of 6.86 mills. Its proposed municipal fire rate is 1.71 mills, up from 1.54 mills last year.
Each mill is equal to $1 for every $1,000 of taxable value. That means the owner of a $100,000 house, assuming a $50,000 homestead exemption, would pay $33 a year more.
The 5-cent tax would affect anyone who buys gas in Pasco County.
Commission Chairman Ted Schrader and commissioners Pat Mulieri, Kathryn Starkey and Jack Mariano voted in favor of advertising the proposed tax rate in July. Commissioner Henry Wilson voted against it, and said recently that he was still trying to find places to cut the budget.
The proposed property tax hike has drawn criticism from taxpayers who think the county should cut its spending, as well as pleadings from people who don’t want commissioners to cut their programs.
Commissioners have also heard from opponents to the proposed gas tax hike.
Meanwhile, Sheriff Chris Nocco has not given up on his bid to seek more money in his budget. On Aug. 27, however, commissioners passed a resolution allowing a portion of the Penny for Pasco to be spent on unmarked detective cars and other vehicles for the Sheriff’s office. They took that action because the language included in the Penny for Pasco referenced marked cars, but did not specify unmarked cars could be purchased with the tax proceeds.
Commissioners are set to have their public hearing on the taxes at their 6:30 p.m. meeting on Sept. 10 at the Dade City Historic Courthouse, 37918 Meridian Ave. in Dade City.
The board will cast its final vote on the property tax rate at its 6:30 p.m. meeting on Sept. 24 at the government center in New Port Richey, 8731 Citizens Drive in New Port Richey.