The Hernando County budget woes aren’t going anywhere. Mistakes have been made and someone has to pay for them. If you own a home in Hernando County it may just be you.
Homeowners are looking at a 14 percent increase in their property tax rate this year to resolve the county’s budget deficit of $10 million dollars.
At Tuesday’s budget meeting County commissioners were looking at the option of a tax increase over other suggestions made by County Administrator Jeff Rogers.
By state law, the County administrator must have a balanced budget proposal by July 15.
Rogers gave County commissioners three options to consider at Tuesday’s budget workshop. He suggested that in addition to the 1 mill increase in the general fund property tax rate, increasing it to 7.8912 mills, he also suggested a utility rate increase or cuts largely focused on the county’s libraries which would leave them open three days a week.
Due to a math error and possible budgeting beyond the 95 percent rule of thumb, the Hernando County’s budget reserve is so deeply depleted, the county will have to borrow money to pay its bills into the new fiscal year that starts on Oct. 1
Rogers let the commissioners know that he to know by Tuesday whether commissioners were considering payments instead of franchise fees. The payments option would charge county utility customers to lease the land their water and sewer lines run through.
One thing is for certain, if something isn’t done to correct the errors now it will only get worse.