Punta Gorda residents protest new millage rate
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
PUNTA GORDA, Fla. - A sea of red turned out in force.
"I object and we object," began a concerned citizen during public comment.
To show solidarity.
"I want to hear an explanation before i would even begin to support something like this," added Mike Fortier, of Punta Gorda, at the podium.
But that wasn't enough to sway city council from unanimously adopting a new millage rate of 3.2462 mills. An 18 percent hike from last year's rate of 2.8824 mills.
"This is no surprise," said Mayor Bill Albers. "We have seen this potential shortfall for a couple of years."
Albers says the increase will fix a budget shortfall of $875,000. A gap higher property taxes would close.
"It'll help us maintain the programs we have, fixing roads and doing all the things we want," explained Albers. "Punta Gorda is a very special place."
It was Barry Jollett's idea that everyone wear red.
"The counsel does not get that economic times are tough for everyone and it is business as usual in this city," said Jollett during public comment.
But even a full house and hot tempers, couldn't keep the people of Punta Gorda from doing their part to protest any tax hike.
"More is not better," said another citizen at the podium. "Preserve what we have. We have a beautiful city and we thank you for your time."
The new millage rate takes effect this year. The will appear on your next property tax bill due by the end of November.