LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Lee county budget planners are recommending a hike in the general fund property tax rate for the coming fiscal year that starts Oct. 1. At least one commissioner is opposing the increase.
"I have told county staff I will not be voting for that increase," said Commissioner John Manning. "We are making progress with cutting spending, we've done that, and we are finally seeing a slightly better economy and more revenue coming in, that projected. For those reasons, I do not support an increase in the tax rate."
Right now, property owners pay $3.65 for every $1000 of value in the general fund. County administrators want to hike that to $3.80. That would mean, if a house maintained its value at 100-thousand dollars, you'd pay an extgra 15 dollars a year in property taxes.
However, administrators point out, most homes have lost value, so most homeowners would not pay more. They also say, they need more revenue because they have cut a tremendous amount out of the budget, and extra money could help in coming years, if the recession hangs on, or occurs again.
Still, the idea rankles some people, like Sylvia Wagstaff of S. Ft. Myers. She has owned a home since 1977, and she lives in a fixed income. The rising costs of everything are really bothering her.
"It is just that you can never get ahead. I don't like it. And the thought of any extra tax, I oppose that for sure. It's to a point where we just know, we are going to have to do with less," she told WINK News.
Commissioners are supposed to vote on Wednesday on the tax rate issue.