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Tallahassee property tax vote expected Wednesday

budget cuts
Posted at 5:55 PM, Jul 09, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-09 14:28:07-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL)--The pressure is on for Tallahassee city commissioners now trying to make a final decision on a property tax hike.

"Its difficult to balance a budget when the money coming in continues to decline," said Gil Ziffer.

The proposed budget for 2014 is nearly $900 million dollars.

Commissioner Gil Ziffer says the city's property tax revenue continue to decline and is one reason they're faced with a $5 million dollar deficit.

If they vote yes, property owners could be looking at an increase of about $40 dollars a year.

"I think there are ways that we can do this so that we don't have to put anymore burden on our taxpayers," said Ziffer.

Ziffer suggests cutting down on city health care costs and using outside resources for parks and recreational projects. That's something Phillip Downs with Voices of Tallahassee organization agrees with.

Its a group that provides pro bono services to thousands of residents about issues in the community through surveys. Downs says city leaders need to cut down on spending.

"City leaders are keeping the budget steady, have been over the last few years, they just need to continue to do so rather than first thinking about raising taxes, lets first think about how we can get spending down," said Downing.

Downs says the city's budget has seen a 4-percent growing trend over the last few years, but no real increase to much needed services.

"Where's the evidence that you received an added level of service from the city and for the most part people say I don't know," said Downs.

Though city leaders haven't taken an official vote, Ziffer hopes the current tax rate won't change.

"I'd like to keep that tax rate exactly where it is," said Ziffer.

Commissioners are expected to vote during their regularly scheduled meeting Wednesday.