Tavares, FL July 30, 2014 This page is a work in progress - return for frequent updates
At their July 22, 2014 meeting, the Lake County Board of Commissioners voted 4 to 1 to approve a tentative property tax increase of 18%. This page was setup to collect fiscal conservative and taxpayer objections to the rate increase. I will be adding items here on a frequent basis.
You can find the names of the County Commissioners and their contact info HERE. Leslie Campione voted against the tax hike, but the other 4 Board members supported it. ( Board Chair Jimmie Conner (who sets the agenda and ramrodded this through, Sean Parks, Welton Cadwell, Tim Sullivan).
Why property owners should be concerned:
IF YOU LIVE IN LAKE COUNTY UNINCORPORATED AREAS, YOUR TAXES MAY GO UP MORE THAN INFLATION, COST OF LIVING, OR INCREASED TAXABLE VALUES SET BY THE LAKE COUNTY PROPERTY APPRAISER. (Owners of homesteaded property may see lower increases due to exemptions and the "Save our Homes" limit, but others with commercial on non-homesteaded properties will see the wage hikes based upon the higher millage rate and higher property valuations. You will see the tentative amounts on your TRIM notice which should be mailed by the Lake County Property Appraiser in mid-August.
The Board and staff claim there is a $15-million shortfall, but in my view after attending Board meetings for six years, they have greatly inflated the "pot" of budget needs which I will explain later in sections below.
Reasons for the Tax Increase.
Chair Jimmy Conner has only had ONE specific budget workshop to discuss budget increase reasons. It was held on June 24 and you can find the video of the Budget workshop (Tab 35) HERE. Click the "VIEW" link to see the video. (Note: There were earlier presentations by staff starting in January and links to those will be added soon).
HERE is the staff Powerpoint they used on June 24 to explain revenue "shortfalls" vs spending plans.
HERE is the later July 22 Powerpoint used to again review budget "needs" (to be added soon)