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East County Thursday, May. 30, 2013 4 years ago

Manatee County administrator to unveil 2014 budget today

by: Josh Siegel Staff Writer

Manatee County Administrator Ed Hunzeker will present a $517 million budget for 2014 today to the Board of County Commissioners.

At a 1:30 p.m. workshop at the Manatee County Administrative Center, 1112 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton, Hunzeker will unveil a budget that delivers on three promises he’s made: raises for county employees; non-reduction of services; and lower property taxes.

It calls for property tax rates to be lowered 25% for incorporated residents and 13% for those who live in unincorporated areas.

Those rates are modeled after Hunzeker’s 26/13 plan, a hypothetical look at how the revenue from a half percent sales-tax increase to pay for indigent health care — set for vote in a special election June 18 — would affect 2012 property taxes using this year’s budget as a model.

The ordinance would raise sales tax from 6.5% to 7%.

Hunzeker’s budget also includes a “modest salary adjustment” for all county, sheriff’s office and constitutional office employees.

Other highlights include:
• A 10% reduction to the cost of building department permit and inspection fees
• Beach renourishment funding
• Five-year improvement plans for 44th Avenue E., Ellenton-Gillette Road, Erie Road, Upper Manatee River Road and the Fort Hamer Bridge
• Money for a new public safety radio system

Commissioners have the final say on the 2014 budget and will vote on next year’s property tax rate in September after summer workshops on the budget.

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