Pasco County facing loss of firefighters or tax hike in budget battle

DADE CITY, Fla. - Pasco County residents will face a stark reality soon: either pay a rate hike in taxes for fire services, or lose 30 firefighters and a federal grant worth a couple of million dollars.

It's just one of the items in a larger debate about the county's budget, which has seen Pasco dip into its reserves time and time again.

For the past seven years, the county says it has done just that for fire services, but says they can no longer afford it.

Just one of the proposals on the board is charging homeowners a nearly 8-percent increase in taxes, meaning a homeowner with a house worth $100,000 will be paying about an extra $18 a year, or 4.8 cents a day.

The alternative, firing 30 firefighters and losing a federal grant worth $2.3 million dollars.

The county's expansion has almost essentially forced this debate, the county has grown so much, the county administrator says fire services typically runs past revenue.

The budget will be voted on by October of this year.

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