Tavares, FL August 20, 2014
Add to that an increase in taxable valuations of 4.3% - thus the total tax increase on businesses, investment properties and non-homesteaded residences would be about 22% on AVERAGE.
South County will see higher increases of 26% or more due to higher valuations and some other areas may see less than 22 % valuations.
Only TWO of the County Commissioners showed up at the event, Leslie Campione who voted against the increase, and Tim Sullivan who voted FOR the tentative increase. County Board Chair Jimmie Conner, and Board members Welton Cadwell and Sean Parks failed to show up.
The Lake 100 is a business group of mostly CEO’s of larger businesses in Lake County and were all against the tax increase.
Campione has a plan where taxes would not be raised and for the County “to live within their means”, but the other Board members have only had two budget workshops and have ignored her ideas.
Read this Orlando Sentinel article at the link below.
Then email, call or meet with the four Board members who voted for the possible increase.
Then go to next Tuesday’s 9am meeting and give public input BEFORE the two required public hearings.
The tax increase includes an increase for the Sheriff of $3.2-million when he does not publish budget details on his website or for past years, does not have public hearings over his $60-million budget and has never had a performance audit by the County Inspector General (they can’t initiate it, he has to ASK for it). Why arent' the Lake County Board members standing up for taxpayer interests by reviewing the current and requested budget of the Sheriff in the detail used for their own budget reviews.
The TWO formal hearings where the Board decides on the tax increase and level will be in early September. Watch for news about them and plan to be there.
NOTE: The other newspaper in Lake County has published several articles about this budget hike, but almost always favoring people or programs who want to spend more money and very little on alternatives to a tax increase.
This article also falls into the trap of explaining tax increase costs only for a homesteaded $100,000 valued home. Many homes in Lake County are valued at $300,000 or higher and BUSINESSES and investment home owners get whacked heavily. A South County CPA told me one client would be hit with a $12,000 higher tax bill. This will put pressure on employers to reduce costs through layoffs.
Update Aug. 21: I am meeting with the Tax Appraiser and the Tax Collector to clearly understand who is hit with the full tax and who is not. When I get the update, I will post it here. For instance, will ALL County residents get hit with the 18% tax hike? Will homesteaded properties only have their taxable valuation increase a max of 3% due to "save our homes" but then get taxed at the 18% tax rate on that value? Thus the total increase is 21%.
The reporter mentions County Commission Candidate Robert Poole, who is on record to pass all the taxes, the opposite of Campione who he is running against.