Sheriff makes his case for more money
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
FORT MYERS, Fla-
After years of slashing budgets and trying to get the most out of your tax dollars, the Lee County Sheriff says he's at the end of his rope.
Today at a budget workshop with the Lee County Commissioners, something shifted!
Two commissioners are now open to the idea of raising the millage, or taxes, to keep up with the demands of public safety.
When asked about a tax hike...Sheriff Mike Scott says it shouldn't be ruled out, as long its explained to the public why its needed.
Even with a county wide 30 million dollar deficit, the sheriff is asking for a 5 million dollar increase.
After 4 consecutive years of cutting and shrinking budgets, the sheriff has reason for hope.
Commissioners Tammy Hall and John Manning claim they are open to the idea of a tax rate increase.
The five million extra the sheriff is asking for is only to cover 3 specific items:
The sheriffs department has to cover 2.4 million in unfunded mandates for a retirement account, a 3% raise for deputies- who haven't had one in several years, and $900,000.00 for maintaining equipment.
Also, compared to sheriffs depatments in Collier and Charlotte counties, deputies in Lee County make on average five thousand dollars less per year.
Making his case before the commission, the sheriff feels he has no choice but to ask for more money.
The county commissioers will vote on the sheriffs budget in september.