2012 Tallahassee Budget Priorities

By: Amy Long
By: Amy Long

Tallahassee, FL- During Wednesday's (4/13) city commission meeting, poster boards peppered with stickers covered the wall, each dot symbolizing a voice.

April 5th through the 7th, 219 people turned out to help shape the proposed 2012 Tallahassee budget by showing their highest and lowest priorities. Each person was given 12 green stickers for high priority and 12 red stickers for low priority.

Commissioner Gil Ziffer says, "The people that were using the red dots, I saw them use them with great vigor. We need to do things like this more often. As I look out here (city commission meeting room) I see a lot of folks, but probably about half are staff, where as at the Senior Center, that was not the case."

Members with the city say one of the surprising out comes: people were ranking lowering property taxes as a high priority and some had it as a low priority. Some people say they just can't part with their city services.

Commissioner Mark Mustian says, "Everyone wants services, but nobody wants to pay for them. It's also interesting to see some of the survey comments, I'll pick one 'Airline prices are killing Tallahassee, fix it.' Oh, if I could." Mustian replied.

The top high priorities included finical support of the arts and continued support of the Senior Center.

Availability of golf courses and promotion and marketing for Tallahassee Regional Airport were low.

Commissioner Andrew Gillum says, "The difficulty in all of this isn't deciding what you like. it's deciding what it is you want to take away so you can afford what you like."

This is the first time the city has gotten the public involved early on and the most feedback they've ever received. The commission will present the proposed budget in June.

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  • by Donnie Location: Southside on Apr 14, 2011 at 06:04 PM
    I don't know who is willing to pay higher Taxes! The must not be living on a fixed income or working for the State and Ricky boy with no guarantee of tomorrow. The State, County, or City would not have a shortage if they would fund only the very necessity. We DO NOT need a library on every street corner, one main library is enough. If we are going to build roads and widen them let's stick to just that the roads. Plant grass so you can put a prisoner on a tractor and mow it. Why are we spending millions of tax dollars on trees, flowers and mulch that I cannot afford for my own yard?
  • by Anonymous on Apr 14, 2011 at 04:22 AM
    Higher property taxes are unacceptable in any capacity. I didn't realize we supported the Senior Center at all. That shoould stop immediately. We barely even have any seniors in Tallahassee anyway. It's not like we're Boca Raton or Naples....sheesh!
  • by tax payer on Apr 13, 2011 at 08:36 PM
    City of Tallahassee stop building parks with pools and tennis courts and you could then continue to offer city services to people who live in the city. Some people could care less about paying higher property taxes because if your home is valued at $50,000 or less you don't pay a dime to the city. Higher property taxes is making a few citizens pay for services and enjoyment for all. No way!!
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