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Tampa City Council brainstorms ideas to balance budget after voting down property tax millage hike

Multiple council members said that their constituents are most concerned with making sure funding is allocated for affordable housing and public safety.

TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa City Council members had another hours-long meeting Wednesday night while trying to come up with ideas for the city’s 2024 fiscal year budget.

Last week, the council voted down the mayor’s proposed budget — which had a property tax rate increase.

The property tax rate increase proposed in the mayor's budget would have accounted for about $45 million of the nearly $2 billion proposed budget. It would have cost homeowners in Tampa about $20 a month. 

After that got voted down, the council went back to the drawing board.

During a workshop on Wednesday, council members spent a good chunk of the meeting trying to make sure that Tampa Fire Rescue will get what they need in the FY2024 budget.

The department says they are in need of funding for critical safety gear, renovations at decades-old mold-infested fire stations and money for new fire stations in areas where response times are lagging because of the distance. 
Multiple council members said that their constituent's top priorities are affordable housing and public safety.

Some of the cuts discussed during the meeting to balance the budget included: 

  • Cutting everything that was supposed to be covered if the property tax rate increase had been approved
  • Not giving raises to non-union city employees making over $150,000 a year 
  • Cutting positions that are brand new and currently not filled
  • Cutting money that the city gives to organizations like Feeding Tampa Bay or Catholic Charities
  • Cutting lobbyists that the city hires
  • Cutting funding for expensive public events for one year like Boom By the Bay or River O’Green

Wednesday's workshop wasn't set up to necessarily formalize anything, but more so for council members to come up with input to give to city staff as they come up with another proposed budget.

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