Guest post by Dr. Jim Davison
Hillsborough County citizens are well acquainted with this time of year as being the start of hurricane season in Florida. It starts every year on June the 1st. We are given estimates of how many and how intense the storms will be. We are urged to get our homes ready and to prepare in case one of these natural disasters hits the area. All good advice.
Beginning about one month before hurricane season there is another season that starts every year. One that can be costly and deadly to taxpayers and it is man-made.
Various economic data was presented giving the impression that ad valorem tax growth will be decreasing and that there is a high probability of a recession coming.
Slides were shown proclaiming the usual AAA+ bond rating. Slides were shown claiming the growth in ad valorem revenues would be only 14.5% for FY 24 (well over inflation plus population growth) and the revenues for FY2025 would be “more challenging” increasing only 8.1%.
|From May 10, 2023 Budget Workshop
In the FY2017 budget Proforma the Countywide General Fund showed a $170.4 million surplus in FY2021 and the Unincorporated General Fund showed a $145.2 million surplus in FY2021.
The growth in government expenses is best shown by looking at the “Major Organization Operating Budget” found every year in the Executive Summary section of the budget. Comparing the numbers over multiple budgets shows exactly what happened.