John Manning, the new Lee Co. Commissioner, says he opposes an increase in the property tax rate. The county approved an increase two days ago, to help balance the budget for the coming year.
"I oppose a tax rate increase. The economy is down," said Manning in his interview with WINK News this morning. "We are looking at further reductions in the budget. There may be more to cut there. We do not need to increase the tax rate."
The county instituted a maximum tax rate on Tuesday, that would translate to an extra 71-dollars a yr. for a house valued for taxes at 100-thousand. Supporters of the rate hike argue that propertly values have dropped, therefore the net effect on many homeowners would be zero.
"I want to get with the county manager and others and really tear into the budget," said Manning. Gov. Charlie Crist appointed Manning to fill the next few months of the term of the late Bob Janes.
The election in November will determine the person who wins the last 2 years of Janes' term. Manning faces Mike Jackson, Bob Chilmonik, and Chris Berardi in the republican primary in August.
The stand against a tax rate hike pleases Cape Coral homeowner Larry Trombly. "Whatever politician can save us some money, I am for them!," said Trombly. "They ought to cut the pay of the higher-echelon bureaucrats," added Trombly.
Manning served 3 terms as a Lee Commissioner between 1988 and 2000. He'd worked in private business, consulting with city and county governments, since then. He is 60 years old and lives in Cape Coral.