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Budget Battle: How much will it cost you?

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Updated: 7/23/2013 8:09 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Right this minute, the Jacksonville City Council is deciding whether to raise your property taxes to cover a multi-million dollar budget deficit.

It's a deficit the Mayor's Office says can be greatly reduced with the passage of his retirement reform plan.  Without it, the city is looking at cuts to every city department, including police, fire, public libraries, and animal control.

The City Council has three options.  It can choose to keep the millage rate the same.  It can choose a slightly higher rate... known as the "rollback."  Or it can propose an even higher increase.

Councilman Matt Schellenberg says he'll fight an increase of any kind.  "The problem is not the revenue, as I see it," he said.  "The problem is the expense side.  And most directly, it's the pension."

Schellenberg says the city's pension expense has ballooned in recent years. "The pension has gone from under $100 million to almost double that in two and half years."

As a result, the city's in a financial squeeze that could hit you right in your wallet.  Here's how the numbers break down.

The average price of a home in Jacksonville is $158,000.

The current millage rate is $10.03 per $1000 dollars of assessed taxable value of your home.

So you would about $1584.74 in property taxes.

That so-called "rollback option" is $10.21.

So you'd pay $1613.18.

That's $28.44 more per year.

With 17,000 local homes in foreclosure, Schellenberg says any increase is too much. He'll be one of the city councilmen voting against it.

"These are people that can't afford to pay their mortgage, much less the tax, the real estate taxes," said Schellenberg.

Brown cannot veto the City Council's decision.

We'll let you know as soon as the vote is final.
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Papakilo - 7/23/2013 11:42 PM
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It is a sorry state of affairs where we elect a potentially honest individual to represent us taxpayers to keep our city safe and provide for the needs of the taxpayers, in the form of a mayor and city councilmen/women. But, all they have done in the end, is cost us more in taxes, provide fewer services, and place the needs of the taxpayers behind their greed and personal benefit. In my opinion we pay the Mayor, his staff, all the administrators, advisors, and the city council way too much in salary and benefits. I am shocked that our elected Mayor sends an underling to tell us ‘it is unfortunate we have to pay higher taxes/milage rate’! Do they think us taxpayers don’t know they charge all these surcharges, taxes, milage rates, and out right taxes, ARE ALL TAXES! There are so many projects we citizens need to have taken care of, which are part of the city infrastructure but, the city ONLY does something when the Mayor and the city council members’ butts get in the fire. For many years only major floods, tornadoes, trees on city property killing citizens, and other items which make them look disgraceful in their lack luster performance of their job to actually take care of the Jacksonville taxpayers. Lets face it, our city leaders ARE a disgrace to the city and themselves. Think of the easements which require trenching, clearing of vegetation/weeds, dead/dying trees, worn out ‘recycle’ baskets, over grown grass in fields, along roads and medians, trees which over hang streets and are hit daily by the passage of trucks. This city is starting to look like Detroit and Chicago and their city leaders have drained the taxpayers pockets and lined their own. At the rate our leaders are going with their tax and spend attitude, this city will follow in the path of other cities approaching bankruptcy. Folks need to open their eyes and watch what our hired leaders are doing. Just my two cents.
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