Broward Schools & Property Tax Edition: Capitol to Courthouse Headliners–June 29

Jun 29, 2010


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U.S. Census Bureau Ranks Florida 27th in Per-Pupil School Spending

State drops to 44 when spending ranked as a factor of personal income

In 2008, public school systems spent an average of $10,259 per pupil, a 6.1 percent increase over 2007. Eighteen states and the District of Columbia spent above this amount; 32 spent less.


Florida budget is dependent on lacking funding

For the state budget, it might be all downhill from here.  The $70 billion spending plan for the coming fiscal year, which starts Thursday, relies in part on billions of dollars of federal stimulus money that might not be available next year.


Meeting Florida’s class-size law will be painful for local schools

This summer, Central Florida school administrators face a task many have dreaded for years: getting their schools in compliance with the final, strict phase of the state’s class-size law.


About 15,000 Florida home buyers could lose tax credits

About 14,830 home buyers in Florida are at risk of losing their tax credit barring a last-minute extension of the home sales stimulus plan by Congress.


Florida Public Interest Research Group:  Transparency in spending can save millions

Big questions loom as to how lawmakers will address Florida’s anticipated $6.6 billion state budget hole next year. But there should be no question of the need for a fully transparent state budget.


Making Value Judgements on Agricultural Land

Florida property appraisers examine agricultural exemptions

Until this year’s legislative session, Florida’s greenbelt law had largely stayed out of the headlines. The law, enacted in 1959, seeks to minimize the pressure that farmers face to sell their land for development.


Editorial:  Solar energy incentive program worth pursuing

Government can boost property retrofits with ‘loans’

The nation’s inexorable march toward greater use of solar energy – ever more vital given the Gulf oil catastrophe – continues here in Manatee County.


Editorial:  Cities need to make pension changes

For the longest time, it has been the third rail of fiscal policy – don’t touch pensions.  But with so many South Florida municipalities in dire financial straits, they not only are in a position where they have to touch pensions, they have to dive in and make big alterations in plans that have become unsustainable.


Program may help some underwater homeowners in South Florida

Scott Katzer owes about $200,000 more than his Fort Lauderdale home is worth. Unable to sell anytime soon, he wants to reduce his monthly mortgage payment by refinancing to a lower interest rate.


Blog:  Broward County offices closed Friday and Monday as part of budget reductions

Broward County governmental offices will be closed on Friday, July 2, and Monday, July 5. The Friday closing is due to an unpaid employee furlough day as part of budget-related reductions to avoid an increase in the County property tax rate.


Frankel’s fire tax proposal a tough sell among West Palm Beach city commissioners

To Mayor Lois Frankel, raising the city’s fire assessment fee from $25 to $60 should be an easy sell to residents.


Rising costs prompt Greenacres officials to consider raising property tax rate

For years, city officials have scrimped, saved and run what they call one of the most efficient municipal governments in Palm Beach County to build up a $10 million reserve.


Tampa Bay school districts consider cutting health benefits

For decades, affordable health benefits have been the comfy cushion public education employees could recline on in exchange for otherwise lackluster pay.


Blog:  New school bell times reversed by Pinellas School Board

Parents wrote. They called. They showed up at today’s Pinellas County School Board and spoke.  And, it turns out, Pinellas County School Board members listened.


Hernando union suggests tax hike to save teachers’ step raises

The comments by School Board members during Tuesday’s budget workshop were not fighting words, really. More like negotiating words.


Manatee schools consider new tax

Facing a $8.8 million budget deficit, Manatee County Schools Superintendent Tim McGonegal is asking School Board members to approve a new tax on property owners to avoid cutting school services.


Lee County discusses furloughs, cuts to full-time employees to save $48 million from budget

As Lee County government faces another tough year of budget cuts, county employees may be forced to take unpaid time off and pay more for their health insurance.


Brevard School Board member questions costs

Murray questions use of outside help for district training

Brevard County School Board member Barbara Murray is fighting some of the district’s spending practices as the board heads deeper into money-saving mode and will be forced to make decisions on cuts in September.


Study: Iowa schools raise property taxes by $133M

Local school districts have raised property taxes by more than $133 million for the upcoming school year, according to a new study that has fueled a hotly partisan debate over who’s to blame for the increase.


New Jersey governor signs $29.4B budget that cuts school aid, suspends property tax rebates

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed his first state budget into law on Tuesday, saying the document reflects tough choices in a difficult economy, but he defended its underpinnings as fiscally sound.



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