Broward Schools & Property Tax Edition: Capitol to Courthouse Headliners–June 11

Jun 11, 2009

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Florida Gov. Crist signs ‘muzzle’ law

Cities, counties and school boards are still allowed to spend money to distribute information on ballot issues, but only if it’s purely factual. The law takes effect July 1.

Gov. Charlie Crist delivered a message to local government leaders: Zip it.


Stimulus money making its way into Florida, agency officials say

Federal dollars are flowing into the state and helping Floridians cope with the worst economic times in recent memory, Gov. Charlie Crist heard on Wednesday as agency heads updated him on stimulus efforts.


Blog:  SBA withdraws budget request after Sink makes displeasure clear

You’d think, given some of the not-so-glowing chronicles lately about the SBA’s management practices, that the SBA would not want to draw attention to itself by, say, asking for a nearly 11 percent budget increase.


Editorial: Public left in dark on Florida finances

At least 130 times in recent years, the Florida State Board of Administration has signed auxiliary agreements with private firms that were investing billions of dollars for the state and for local governments


Editorial: New property tax shock

A lot of Floridians need to prepare themselves: The tax relief equilibrium has swung.

Four years ago, owners of homesteaded properties were sitting pretty.


Broward county questions $11.9 million in staff overtime

Locked in a high-stakes battle with the sheriff over his budget, Broward County commissioners are vowing to explore whether they can shave the $11.9 million that their staff spent last year on overtime.


Decreased state funding means Hernando County School District may put burden on taxpayers

The Hernando school district’s chief financial officer calls it ‘the shift.’ As she made her way through a slide show on next year’s budget numbers during a School Board workshop last week, Desiree Henegar felt compelled to emphasize an overarching theme that will play a big role in the district’s financial picture and in any debate among board members to hike school taxes by a quarter mill.


Tourist-tax revenue headed for a record drop

Tourist-tax revenues will plummet 18 percent in 2009 and not fully recover for several years, Orange County budget officials said Tuesday, adding the drop will affect everything from tourism promotion to the $1.1 billion plan for downtown arts and sports venues.


South Florida water managers won’t increase tax rate despite plummeting revenues

The South Florida Water Management District will not hike its property tax rate, despite plans to finance the state’s priciest-ever conservation land purchase amid a historic plunge in real estate values, leaders said today.


Palm Beach County health district facing $56 million deficit, cutting budget and employees

Battered by falling tax revenues and surging demand for its health insurance programs, the Health Care District of Palm Beach County today said its slashing its budget by laying off 17 employees, lowering payments to hospitals for its health coverage programs and curtailing funding to community health centers that help the uninsured.


Editorial: A keener eye on money

About a year and a half ago, local governments in Florida rushed to pull their money from the state’s investment fund after word leaked that the agency in charge had bought risky securities backed by subprime mortgages; the run on the agency’s fund for local governments cut its $27 billion balance in half and forced a temporary freeze on withdrawals.


State scrutinizing Pasco, Hernando county jobs agency

An investigation by state regulators revealed several allegations regarding operations at the Pasco Hernando Jobs and Education Partnership Board.


No charges in Orange school bribery probe

Two people seeking business with Orange County schools have accused a former senior official with the school district of soliciting bribes from them in exchange for construction contracts. But the State Attorney’s Office has decided against pressing charges, citing insufficient evidence.


Editorial: Truth in Teaching

Education reform will go nowhere until the states are forced to revamp corrupt teacher evaluation systems that rate a vast majority of teachers as “excellent,” even in schools where children learn nothing.


Highlights from the Fed’s latest economic survey

Highlights from the Federal Reserve’s survey of economic conditions nationwide. The survey, released Wednesday and known as the Beige Book, is based on information collected from the Fed’s 12 regional bank districts.


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