TR has confirmed that citizens’ groups will hold a budget workshop at City Hall in the City Commission Chambers on Monday, June 20th, from 6 p.m. -10 p.m.
The City Commission Chambers is available because the City Commission decided to roll out the FY2017 budget at the Walker-Ford Community Center located on the southside.
A press release stated a “coalition of citizen groups who are committed to repealing last year’s $5 million property tax increase will hold a “citizens’ budget workshop” this Monday, June 20th at 6 pm until 9 pm at City Commission Chambers.
The groups include the Budget Hawks, Citizens for Responsible Spending (CRS), and the Network of Entrepreneurs and Business Advocates (NEBA).
The release stated the groups will offer an alternative budget, called the “Citizens’ Budget”, and explain how their budget will put more money back into the pockets of the citizens of Tallahassee.
Why hold a workshop?
Penny Herman, a former mayor of Tallahassee and one of the leaders of Budget Hawks said, “We have offered commissioners ideas to save the city money because taxpayers have seen their property tax millage rates raised three times in the last nine years, our ideas have been repeatedly ignored. Last year for the first time in the history of Tallahassee, the millage rate was increased above 3.7 mills. At the same time, we have seen the fire service fee sky rocket up 25% in one year that now cost homeowners $200 per year.”
The prospect of having dueling workshops is bound to add more publicity and controversy to a budget process that has drawn criticism from local media and several local citizens groups since the City proposed a 27% property tax increase last year.
“The groups chose to hold their workshop at the same time as the City’s budget role out to demonstrate the dramatic differences between the two budgets,” said Catherine Baer of Budget Hawks.