By: Gina Pitisci
March 21, 2013
Tallahassee, FL - Over the past six years, Leon County government officials have been working diligently to streamline the budget. Tonight they hosted a meeting to discuss some changes that may affect the wallets of community members. According to Leon County resident Curtis Baynes "A lot of things that have to do with government activity begins early on so the earlier on in the process you get involved the more likely it is that your comments can be taken into account." Baynes has been a tallahassee resident since 1984 and says he is voicing his opinion at the community meeting because of increased fees on storm water, solid waste and transportation. He also says he is "hoping if we have to do this we can exchange a tax increase in one area for a tax cut in the other."
Leon County Administrator, Vincent Long explains there is currently a subsidy in those funds because user fees are not generating enough money to pay for each of the services. Long says "the total impact should be about 2 to 3 dollars a month increase for citizens who are garbage collect ion."
Since 2007, Leon County Commissioners have been able to reduce the budget by over $62 million dollars. If you break that number down it equals about $850,000 a month in savings. According to Long, "while it may not be a tremendous dollar impact in a 230 million dollar budget, over a period of time it adds up and our budget process, every penny counts."
The commission will discuss the budget at least two more times between now and September. If you are interested in attending the public hearing, it's next Tuesday, May 28th at 6:00pm at the Leon County Courthouse on the 4th floor.