Local News

Voters Pass Half Cent Sales Tax in Special Election

Submitted by admin on Wed, 09/09/2015 - 8:15am

Hernando County School District

BROOKSVILLE – Hernando County voters approved the return of a one-half cent sales tax Sept. 8th 2015. The return of the sales tax means that starting in January 2016, the district will receive approximately $8 million per year that will be used for repairs to school facilities, maintenance, and capital improvements.

School District Opens Academy for Off-Track Middle Schoolers

Hernando Sun Staff

Around 50 Hernando County students quietly listened to 18 year old Sam Vrinios, a track state champ and teen entrepreneur speak about his successes in life and how he got there. His mother followed, Jamie Cruz Vrinios in which she boldly described the harsh treatment from her family due to her teen pregnancies. She found herself in poverty as a result, but was able to navigate beyond this and become a highly successful entrepreneur in her own right, author and inspirational speaker. She encouraged the students to “Play to win. Don’t play not to lose.”

Election Today September 8th!

Hernando Sun Staff

Special Election September 8th

Polls are open today until 7pm for the Half Cent Sales Tax Special Election. There is one issue on the ballot: either for or against the half cent sales tax. As of 8:40 am September 8th, 712 ballots have been cast at the polls, while 15,660 mail in ballots have been received. The breakdown by party is the following: 7482 Republican, 5993 Democrat, and 2,897 “other” ballots.

With only 712 ballots cast this morning so far, the polls are relatively empty aside from the 10 to 12 poll workers manning each polling place.

Half Cent Sales Tax Special Election Approaching and Millage Rate Increase

Hernando Sun Staff

In 2014, the school board partnered with the county under the Penny for Projects sales surtax referendum, in order to establish a one cent sales surtax, 50% of which would have gone to the school district. The plan was to use a large part of the school district’s proceeds for tablets and technology: $62,395,000 out of roughly $87 million collected over the ten year time period. The school board had considered this to be an extension of the previous half cent sales surtax which was in place for ten years and expired on December 31, 2014.

Environmentally Sensitive Lands Committee Re-Established with Caveat

Little Withlacoochee Riverine Corridor Project

The Hernando County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) dissolved the Environmentally Sensitive Lands Committee, then they re-established it.

The Environmentally Sensitive Land (ESL) Program was created in 1988, when voters approved a referendum levying one tenth of a mill for 30 years for the acquisition and management of environmentally sensitive lands. The levy ended prematurely in 2011. In 2012, a continuation of the levy was put on the ballot, but was rejected by voters. There is currently $6.1 million in the ESL fund.

Commission Holds Tentative General Fund Millage Rate at 6.9912

Hernando Sun Staff

The County Commission decided to hold the general fund millage rate at 6.9912 going into budget hearings for FY 2016. This means that they will not be able to raise the millage rate during the public hearings, only lower it or keep it the same. During the budgeting process, the Sheriff’s Office and Supervisor of Elections will most likely face cuts to their proposed budgets as both offices had significant increases over their FY 2015 budgets.

Vote by Mail Ballots for Sales Surtax Special Election

Submitted by admin on Fri, 08/07/2015 - 9:58am

Supervisor of Elections

Vote by Mail Ballots for Special Election Mailed on August 4, 2015 Supervisor of Elections Shirley Anderson announced that on Tuesday, August 4, 2015 over 22,000 Vote by Mail ballots were mailed to all voters who have a request on file. Voters should expect ballots to start showing up in mailboxes by the end of the week. The election is scheduled for September 8, 2015.

Tentative Millage Rate Set for City of Brooksville

Hernando Sun Staff

The current City of Brooksville millage rate is at 6.6962. The Brooksville City Council set the tentative millage rate at 7.000. They reasoned that this will provide them with flexibility as health insurance rates are expected to increase between 12 and 15% for the upcoming fiscal year. One mil is one dollar per thousand dollars in property value. So a $150,000 home with a $50,000 homestead exemption would be paying $700 in property taxes if the millage rate is set at 7.

William Kemerer Chosen to Serve on Brooksville City Council, Natalie Kahler now Vice Mayor

Hernando Sun Staff

William Kemerer was chosen by Council members to fill seat 3 on the Brooksville City Council, formerly occupied by Joe Johnston III, who sadly passed away in July. Kemerer was chosen from a strong group of 6 candidates who submitted their resume and statement for consideration to fill the position. The candidates were Pat Brayton, Vivian Coogler, Steven Martinez, William Kemerer, Richard Lilliston and Ruby McGeehan. After Mr. Kemerer was sworn in, Council member Natalie Kahler was voted in to serve as Vice Mayor.

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