TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Tampa City Council will spend the next two weeks crunching numbers to draft a new spending plan for the city after striking down Mayor Jane Castor’s $1.9 billion budget proposal and the tax hike that came with it.
After more than six hours of public comment on Tuesday, council made the decision to avoid raising the millage rate that would have increase property taxes for homeowners.
Castor’s proposal addressed much-needed projects, including fixing the abundance of potholes on city streets. Funding would also be allocated to enhancing the police and fire rescue departments.
However, avoiding a tax increase comes with the possibility of budget cuts.
Fire rescue is also worried that budget cuts will take a toll on equipment that’s already outdated.
“Our biggest fear is that we’re going to continue to fall backwards,” said Nick Stocco, president of the Tampa Firefighters Union. “If we were standing still we were falling even further back. This may set us back decades.”
Council will continue working toward balancing the budget before the next public hearing Sept. 19.