JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Nearly $1 million taxpayer dollars is up for grabs after a city agency discovered a surplus in its office.
In a time when just about everyone at City Hall is facing unprecedented budget cuts, no government agency seems to have enough money.
That's not the case for Duval County’s Supervisor of Elections, Jerry Holland. The office made cost-cutting changes last year that saved taxpayers $898,105. And instead instead of the city reaping the reward, he wants the money to stay in his office to pay off the department's debt.
City council members have to sign off on the move, most seem split on how the money should be spent.
Councilman John Crescembini told Action News that other city agencies are in greater need for the savings. But council president Bill Bishop backs the idea.
“It's an opportunity to at least chisel away at some accumulated debt that's got to be paid off anyway and why not,” said Bishop.
According to Holland, buying new voting machines for last year's presidential election set the agency back $1.5 million. Keeping Holland's savings in-house would cut the debt by nearly two-thirds.
Bishop says the sooner the city settles that debt, the better for our bottom line. “The sooner you pay it off, the less you have to pay for it,” said Bishop. “The longer you hold it on the books, the more interest you pay.”
City council members are expected to vote on the proposal next month.