TAMPA - Tampa Mayor Bob Buckorn presented a $876 million budget to the city council Thursday morning.
"This is the turning of the corner for the City of Tampa,” said Buckhorn.
Tampa is on the turnaround.
"It's been a tough five years. It's been a painful five years,” said the Mayor.
But 2015, Buckhorn says, could be Tampa’s first balanced budget in five years without dipping into reserves.
"I mean in 2007, we were recouping about $166 million dollars in property taxes. 2012 that was down to $119 so huge drop in our revenues,” he said.
Property tax revenues are on the steady incline. We’re dealing with a projected $132 million next year which makes realtor Lisa Spencer optimistic.
"We've had a lot of time to recover and last year the real estate investment trusts and investors came into our market in a big way, and started really purchasing aggressively and that has driven the price up and stabilized neighborhoods," Spencer said.
The Mayor calls his $876 million budge conservative. The biggest chunk, 62 percent of that, goes to public safety.
The Mayor’s also set aside $16.6 million to finish a City Hall makeover.
$34 million is budgeted for road resurfacing and storm water improvement projects.
And the Mayor plans to put $1 million back into city reserves.
"We need, in the event of something catastrophic, a significant amount of reserves, for things like hurricane cleanup,” he said.