Hillsborough County's budget is an abomination and taxpayers in Hillsborough County should be revolting.
For the last 15 years, Hillsborough County has refused to properly prioritize road funding, a primary responsibility of local government. Roads are Hillsborough County's largest asset but the County continues to neglect to appropriately maintaining and improving them.
That must change with the FY24 budget. Taxpayers must demand property tax revenues be used to fund roads and transportation.
Hillsborough's budget irresponsibly prioritizes the funding of pork projects, pet projects, a bigger bureaucracy and wants over needs. The budget demonstrates poor governance, lack of transparency and lack of accountability. It is shameful!
In preparation of the FY24 budget, the County held a budget workshop on May 10, 2023. County Administrator Bonnie Wise stated she will be presenting her recommended FY24 budget to the county commissioners at the July 12, 2023 BOCC meeting.
The video of the May 10, 2023 Budget workshop is found here.
At this Workshop, Wise states the Budget overview presentation highlights how funding is allocated amongst various uses of the funds. She also highlights the two property tax revenue streams the commissioners have the MOST DISCRETION in "their" spending - the Countywide General Funds and the Unincorporated General Funds.
Since 2018 property tax revenue increases have averaged about 10.15% per year including a whopping 15.3% increase in FY23.
The County's latest COVID funding spending report aka their marketing brochure will be handed to the county commissioners today.
For about 15 years, Hillsborough County has refused to properly been holding road funding hostage for transit tax boondoggles
Historically, property tax general revenues always funded roads and transportation in Hillsborough County....until 2008.
While the total elimination of general fund property tax revenues in 2008 for transportation funding was supposed to be temporary to get thru the housing bubble burst....it wasn't.
As property tax revenues came back, the County never put property tax revenues back to funding transportation except for a year or two - FY2017 and FY2018. Taxpayers forced the issue after the 2016 Go Hillsborough scandal that resulted in a law enforcement investigation.
However, a new Democrat majority county commission in 2019 eliminated the property tax funding again because they supported the illegal All for Transportation massive transit sales tax hikes.
Now the County is complaining about the high inflation and higher costs.
But the County should have been properly funding roads for over a decade. Due to negligently and irresponsibly not doing that, taxpayers are forced to now pay much higher costs for work that should have been paid for when inflation and costs were much lower.
So now the new Republican majority county commission must prioritize road funding in the County's FY24 budget. They must break off a percentage of the current millage rate and use a percentage of growth funds and earmark those general revenue dollars to fund roads - especially in unincorporated Hillsborough.
And if County Administrator Bonnie Wise cannot figure out how to properly fund roads with general funds/property tax revenues, the County needs a new Administrator ASAP.