VENICE, FL - For the third year in a row Venice city leaders vote to slightly raise taxes. Some of the big reasons surround those who work for the local municipality.
It's really not a whole lot. 8 cents for every $1,000 your home is worth. The tax increase though comes as property values in the city are on the rise. Up nearly 4%.
There are a few reasons the majority of city leaders voted for the increase despite millions more already coming in. Nearly $370,000 is needed to help cover police and firefighter pension funds.
For the first time in years the city wants to give a small 1% raise to employees.
Health care costs are going up around a million dollars to cover those workers as well.
There will be more workers. The city wants to hire 14 new employees in different departments to keep up with recent growth. That will put the city at just under 280 workers. Just a few years ago there were more than 350. "We've cut tremendously. Now to keep maintaining the status of our city as a full service city we need to replace some of these things. We are doing it gradually as the economy increases," says Council Member Emilio Carlesimo.
The pension issue has become a big one for the city. It is currently an unfunded liability. Something both the fire and police unions are negotiating.
Wednesday Fire Union officials resenting a plan which would have them taking over the county ambulance service currently operated by Sarasota County. They believe that would solve the issue while saving city residents money. ABC 7 will have the latest on that coming up this evening.