budget

Santa Rosa budget to rise 5 percent

Santa Rosa budget to rise 5 percent

In a Tuesday night meeting notable mainly for its brevity and levity, Santa Rosa County Commissioners voted 4-0 to approve a budget increase of about 5 percent to $175.3 million for fiscal 2018-2019. Before adjourning after less than 10 minutes the board kept ad valorem tax millage rate where it has been since 2007—at 6.095 […]

County considering new tax for sheriff’s office

County considering new tax for sheriff’s office

While trying to reconcile the Santa Rosa Sheriff’s Office’s budget request to revenue realities, the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) discussed the possibility Thursday of implementing a Municipal Service Taxing Unit (MSTU) for law enforcement services during the first of their annual budget workshops. Sheriff Bob Johnson told commissioners that he needs nearly every penny […]

Budget cuts send chill through tourist industry

Budget cuts send chill through tourist industry

Tallahassee budget cuts could have negative economic impacts close to home. Despite far higher proposals by Gov. Rick Scott, state economic development partnership Enterprise Florida and tourism marketing agency Visit Florida will see sharp funding reductions under the budget passed last week by the Florida House of Representatives and Senate. Read the full article in […]

Tax vote decides 33 percent of school budgets

Tax vote decides 33 percent of school budgets

The school district is pushing for voters to renew the half cent sales tax in March, but just how much of their budget do they stand to lose if it were not renewed for another 10 years? According to current fiscal year data, 33 percent of the entire capital outlay budget is provided by this […]

Future of sales tax funds unclear

Future of sales tax funds unclear

Debate over what projects will be funded and who decides on those projects left the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) without a clear path forward for the estimated $39 million to be collected on the half cent local option sales tax, or LOST, Tuesday following the board’s annual Planning Workshop. A proposal by County Administrator […]

Poof! Let there be raises!

Poof!  Let there be raises!

And Commissioner Williamson said, let there be raises, and so it was. We are in full support of giving deputies much needed raises. How can we employ the best when we don’t offer much in the way of pay? When our surrounding counties offer more than we do? When deputies who are loyal to our […]

Property appraiser’s innovative approach returns thousands to county

Property appraiser’s innovative approach returns thousands to county

The Property Appraiser’s Office handed back a check for more than $231,000 to Santa Rosa County Tuesday, Nov. 7, after it came in under its allotted budget for 2015-16. The amount of taxpayer dollars that were not spent by the appraiser’s office accounts for roughly 12 percent of the office’s overall budget Chief Deputy Bubba […]

Six figures for Gomillion’s new assistant is typical

Six figures for Gomillion’s new assistant is typical

The $115,000 annual salary for the new position of assistant to County Administrator Tony Gomillion is prompting questions and criticism. But a Navarre Press review of pay scales in nearby counties and those of similar size elsewhere in the state shows that both Gomillion’s compensation and that of his as-yet-unnamed assistant are in line with […]

Financial Peace University: Saving and giving can go hand in hand

Financial Peace University: Saving and giving can go hand in hand

First Baptist Church of Navarre is hosting Financial Peace University, a finance class centered on managing money through “God’s way,” Tuesday nights from 6:30-8 p.m. at the church. Jamie Ellis is the Senior Public Relations Coordinator for Ramsay Solutions, the company that created and sells the program. She said that scripture is a big part […]

Gulf Breeze struggles to balance budget

Gulf Breeze struggles to balance budget

Find me the money. That’s what City of Gulf Breeze council members are saying to department heads and their accountant as they try to escape a pool of red ink welling up in the budget for next year. Although the municipality of about 6,000 residents boasts an affluent image with average housing values topping $240,000– […]

Courthouse size and funding to be cut

Courthouse size and funding to be cut

Santa Rosa commissioners took a long look at the latest engineering cost analysis of a new county courthouse and agreed that the projected size and estimated $50 million tab must both be scaled back. The panel also acknowledged that the proposed local sales tax increase of one cent on retail purchases be cut in half […]

Kelly newest face on Holley-Navarre Water System board

Kelly newest face on Holley-Navarre Water System board

Brian Kelly has a strong background in the financial world and now he’ll have a chance to use that experience in Navarre. Kelly was elected to the Holley-Navarre Water System Board last week, the only new person to earn a seat on the board. He will serve a one-year term and head up the water […]

Navarre Beach named a ‘Hidden Gem’ getaway

Navarre Beach named a ‘Hidden Gem’ getaway

TripAdvisor, one of the world’s largest travel sites, has listed Navarre Beach on a list of 10 Affordable Hidden Gem getaways for the winter season. The TripAdvisor website says of the list, “TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals has rounded up 10 super affordable US getaways this winter for staying in a rental, many of which are worthy […]

Questions surface about Fairpoint as water prices rise

Questions surface about Fairpoint as water prices rise

Questions about accounting and certain employee expenses are drawing more oversight of Fairpoint Regional Utility System, a collective that is mutually owned by four area water companies. The increased scrutiny comes at a time when Fairpoint is sharply raising the wholesale price of water it supplies to the four customers: Holley-Navarre Water System, Gulf Breeze/South […]

2-4-6-8 how do you negotiate?

2-4-6-8 how do you negotiate?

When you buy a house, you negotiate the sales price. When you buy a car, you negotiate the bottom dollar on the car. When you take a new job, you negotiate the salary and terms of your employment. Very few things in life are set in stone – most things are negotiable. Our county seems […]

Sand Sculpting gives way to scrutinized dredging

Sand Sculpting gives way to scrutinized dredging

Planning for the sixth annual Navarre Beach Sand Sculpting Festival next April consumed considerable time and effort from Santa Rosa County tourism development leaders before the event was abruptly doomed last week by, of all things, sand. The scheduled April 15-16 festival boasted a budget of $55,000 in bed tax funding despite a spat between […]

Florida First Budget increases funding for Elders and Caregivers

Florida First Budget increases funding for Elders and Caregivers

Gov. Rick Scott’s 2016-17 Florida First Budget recommends a funding increase of more than $6 million for the Department of Elder Affairs to serve additional elders and caregivers through enhanced tools and technology. “As our state continues to grow, so does the population of Florida’s seniors,” Scott said. “We want to make sure our seniors […]

Commissioners hold line on new budget

Commissioners hold line on new budget

  Over the objections of several Santa Rosa County employees about the lack of raises, commissioners have passed a sizable budget increase for the new fiscal year without raising the property tax rate. The budget boost capitalizes on rising property values—which yield more revenue at the same tax rate–and on additional funds created by the […]

Scott at odds again with fellow Republicans

Scott at odds again with fellow Republicans

Just six months ago, Gov. Rick Scott stood onstage outside the state Capitol basking in his hard-fought victory as he began his second term. Scott boldly proclaimed in his inaugural address that the campaign was over, and while there would be “robust debates on the best direction for Florida” that “we should not let partisan […]

Rob Williamson hosts listening tour

Rob Williamson hosts listening tour

District 4 Commissioner Rob Williamson is hosting a county-wide listening tour now through early August. Residents are encouraged to attend one of five meetings scheduled in each voting district to discuss issues that impact their community and the county as a whole: Tuesday, July 21, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at the Pace Chamber of Commerce […]

County admin proposes property tax hike

County admin proposes property tax hike

Santa Rosa County commissioners Tuesday will host workshops leading up to approval of the county’s 2015-16 budget, which is projected to increase to  $110 million, leaving a $2.8 million deficit. County Administrator Hunter Walker is proposing that the board of county commissioners raise property taxes from a millage rate of 6.0953 to 6.4911 to “offset” the $5.7 million increase over the […]

Gov. Scott signs budget, vetoes nearly $500M

Gov. Scott signs budget, vetoes nearly $500M

Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a new budget into law Tuesday, but not before vetoing nearly $500 million stuffed into the spending plan by legislators. Scott signed the budget just days after the Florida Legislature approved it during an unusual June special session. State government would have been partially shut down if a new budget […]

5 Things to Know in Florida for June 20

5 Things to Know in Florida for June 20

Your daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about in Florida today. Florida Legislature passes $78.7 billion budget in overtime The Florida Legislature passed a $78 billion spending plan during a special session called to solve a budget crisis and avoid a looming government shutdown. The House voted 96-17 […]

Legislature passes $79B budget in overtime

Legislature passes $79B budget in overtime

After a sprawling and messy budget fight that spawned lawsuits and finger-pointing, the fractured Republican-controlled Florida Legislature approved a nearly $79 billion budget and ended its special session Friday. Legislators were racing against the clock to pass the budget after they failed to pass one during their regular two-month session that ended in late April. […]

Lawmakers reach late-night deal on budget

Lawmakers reach late-night deal on budget

  Aided by a last-minute infusion of cash that went to projects backed by the state’s Republican leaders, Florida legislators late Monday night reached a deal on a nearly $80 billion budget for the state. The agreement, much of which was pounded out in private meetings and out of the view of the public, means […]

Property tax revenues continue uptick

Property tax revenues continue uptick

For the third consecutive year, Santa Rosa County property tax revenues are expected to increase. During Tuesday’s pre-budget workshop, Budget Director Jayne Bell projected a 2.1 percent increase of just over $1 million – but don’t expect commissioners to lower ad valorem assessments. In fact, commissioners have discussed ways to increase some county revenue streams […]

Commissioners to discuss upcoming budget

Commissioners to discuss upcoming budget

The Santa Rosa County Board of County Commissioners will host a pre-budget workshop Tuesday, June 9, at 1:30 p.m. in the commission meeting room, 6495 Caroline St. in Milton. The meeting offers the board and other constitutional officers an opportunity to ask questions and discuss issues that may impact the upcoming 2015-16 budget, which runs […]

Florida House abruptly adjourns early over budget impasse

Florida House abruptly adjourns early over budget impasse

The annual session of the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature crashed to a halt Tuesday as the House adjourned three days early because of a budget impasse with the Senate over Medicaid expansion. Bills covering everything from tax cuts to gambling and medical marijuana died as a result. The abrupt showdown also raises the possibility of a […]