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Jacksonville City Council meeting for budget cancelled

2:32 PM, Sep 30, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Today Major Alvin Brown is embracing a spending plan of nearly a $984 million, electing not to exercise any line-item cuts to that plan.

The mayor sent the budget back to the council without his signature.

The budget calls for a 14% increase in property taxes.  A home with a taxable value of $100,000 would be taxed an additional $12 dollars a month.

Mayor Brown earlier this summer promised not to increase taxes.  He tied his budget to pension reform that Brown said would save taxpayers $40 million this year.  The council rejected pension reform and opted to raise taxes to avoid cutting hundreds of police officers, closing fire stations and libraries.

David DeCamp Director of Communications with Mayor's office provided the letter Mayor Brown sent to President Gulliford Monday. The letter says, "In order to focus on ways that we can work together to improve our community, I have decided not to exercise without my signature."

The letter further says that Brown wants to work with the City Council members to achieve the following goals:

  • Finding a comprehensive retirement reform solution through the Jacksonville Retirement Reform Task Force chaired by Bill Scheu.
  • Attracting companies to invest and expand in Jacksonville by working with the Jax Chamber and focusing on small business and entrepreneurs, including JAXPORT.
  • Revitalizing Downtown to make it a destination to live, work and play.
  • Protecting our military personnel and veterans.
  • Boosting quality of life by focusing on parks, housing and public and private partnerships.
  • Enhancing the education system by supporting the schools, teachers and families. 

Harry Reagan, a former city councilman, who now heads of Friends of the Library says city hall got the message that quality of life is important.

"I was surprised in this day and age that the city council opened the door to a property tax increase.  Some people said they could not check for sure, but they thought hell might have frozen over," said Reagan about resistance in the past to increase property taxes.

The city's new budget kicks in on October 1. 

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