This blog is dedicated to:
A) improving fiscal oversight, management and operational efficiency of the 1) Lake County, Florida School District, 2) the separate Lake County Government, 3) the North Lake County Hospital District, PLUS 4) the operations of the independently elected Constitutional Officers (Sheriff, Tax Collector, Assessor, County Clerk, etc.) and also
B) Improving fiscal and management effectiveness of other local government agencies and programs spending taxpayer funds.
To read older articles, select them from the categories or archives listings. We also recommend listening to Ralph Smith's Lake County (FL) Round Table radio show every Wed. at 1pm to 2pm on WLBE AM-790.
Tavares, FL - July 21, 2014 Call for Action: If you are concerned about the County raising your property taxes up to 18% or more, you should be at the first approval meeting which is tomorrow, Tuesday, July 22 at 9am. It is the first of three meetings where the Lake County Board of Commissioners start the process to approve property tax millage rates by 18% or MORE. Tomorrow, they will set the maximum millage rate increase which will be on your property tax TRIM notice. The actual millage rate could be set lower at two future meetings. In my opinion, County Chairman Jimmie Conner is requesting all parties to pile on with budget requests to build up a big pot of "needs", then scale it back to maybe 5-8% and look like a hero. So the problem is not only the millage rate, but which services will be funded....
Read more →
Tavares, FL May 1, 2014 The Daily Commercial published an article quoting Lake County managers and officials pleading for "mo money" to fund expanded plans for County Recreation facilities. http://www.dailycommercial.com/news/article_565b7c50-2adb-52d0-85f3-3670a2a9a836.html The article left out any balancing information on why they want it, or the possible underlying reason is to justify higher taxes in the upcoming budget year. Here is the comment we posted about the other side of the "need" for more parks funding: As a person who has attended most Lake County Board meetings, I sympathize with the managers & officials pleading for more taxpayer funds. However, the article does not: - Get quotes from people that don't want tax hikes, which is what this is leading to. - Describe the reason for lower tax revenues overall is that the Board waived most residential and commercial impact fees which provide funds for roads and schools. This was done to...
Read more →
Tavares, FL (Lake County, FL) Monday, Apr. 21, 2014 by Vance Jochim www.FiscalRangers.com Pam Stewart (center), head of the Florida Dept. of Education, should be held accountable for this $51-million budget blunder. School Districts in Florida have been fiscally shafted by the Florida Dept. of Education to the tune of $51-million. (FLDOE). Lake County Schools received a surprise cut in budgeted Florida revenues of $916,000. Note: I will be seeking more information on this, and will post updated to THIS page. Update Apr. 23, 2014 - Orlando's Channel 9 TV reporter Berndt Petersen picked up this story and interviewed me: http://www.wftv.com/videos/news/video-lake-county-schools-wont-get-expected-1m/vCYKrQ/ This story was also published on the national news service, WatchDogWire here: http://watchdogwire.com/florida/2014/04/22/fl-budget-blunder-costs-local-school-districts-51-million/ and on April 24th, it was published in the Daily Commercial: http://www.dailycommercial.com/news/article_465a42d2-2b3e-5e4d-83a0-f875e09cecdd.html#.U1j_pxlp3_o.facebook What did happen? How did Lake County get cut $916,000 and all Florida schools get cut $51-million? Monday night, April 21, 2014, around 5:30...
Read more →
The local Lake County Daily Commercial published an article quoting many officials about low budgets and the possible need for MORE taxes. They did not quote any watchdog groups about alternatives to raising taxes, and we provided some comments they would not publish.
Read more →