2023 Tampa Tax

Continue to call and email

Please consider writing or calling them again… TampaCityCouncil@tampa.gov  If you listen to the meeting video you can get better ideas and have information to counter the opposing people.
Next meeting I believe is Sept. 5, 2023 - if it is different please email me.

Luis Viera  Phone: (813) 274-7073
Charlie Miranda Phone: (813) 274-7074
Gwen Henderson   Phone: (813) 274-8189
Bill Carlson   Phone: (813) 274-8134
Lynn Hurtak   Phone: (813) 274-8133
Guido Maniscalco Phone: (813) 274-7071
Alan Clendenin Phone: 813-274-7072


8/10/23   REFERENCE:  Tax increase for City of Tampa.  I am sure you have heard Mayor Castor pleading for a 'small' increase' in our millage tax!  What this really means-

ISSUE:  Mayor Jane Castor has sent  a letter to the Tampa City Council asking them to consider an increase in taxes to help fund diversity, housing, police, roads, firefighters. If you're not paying attention the letter sounds as if it's just trying to make everyone's life better, and how could anyone be against that?   Well, it's the very reason the cities of Los Angeles and New York are showing record population losses.... Every time a politician has an itch "to improve everybody's life" in places like that, taxpayers take it on the chin,  can't take it anymore, and they flee.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: pertaining to request for tax increases at the Hillsborough County Commissioner Meetings- HCC

SAMPLE ACTION ALERT LETTER - feel free to cut, paste & send.

PROPOSAL: Mayor Castor and Tax proposal explained-

Millage Rates- Millage is a tax rate defined as the dollars assessed for each $1,000 of value; one mill is one dollar per $1,000 of assessed value. Mathematically the equation is: Taxable value ÷ 1,000 × millage rate = Property Tax Owed.

  • Millage is how governments decide how much you'll pay for services.
  • The total millage rate in Hillsborough County if you are also a resident of the city of Tampa, is 19.5 mils 
  • That means you pay $1950 for every $100,000 of your home's assessed value.
  •   Mills just represent a "commission" the city is charging the homeowner for services.  So, if your home is assessed at $450,000, after the homestead exemption is subtracted, , your taxes will be $1950 X 4.5 = $8775. 
  • The total millage rate is made up from many different taxing districts:   The city, the county, the port authority, the Children's Board, Schools, Libraries, etc.

Presently, the city of Tampa's portion of that 19.5 mills is 6.2 mills, or $2790 on that $450,000 house.  The mayor is proposing to change that to a millage rate of 7.2.  It doesn't sound like a lot, just raising the tax by 1 mill, but that's an increase of 16%.   That's about  $30 more  a month, every month , for the "average" homeowner.

If you don't like that, here are some bullet points to help you express your concern:

1)  The city's income from real estate taxes has increased at least 9% every year since at least 2019.   That's  according to their own budget.  So, that's not enough money?  They need 16% more every year out of our pockets?

2)  Real estate values continue to increase, AND new builds and entire new developments continue to go on the tax rolls, providing even more money over and above the increasing values of existing homes.

3) All those other taxing districts:  Libraries, schools, the county....  When They see how easy it is for the city of Tampa to get a bump in its revenues, what keeps them from doing the same thing?  This does NOT require a vote from citizens.

4)  In  Fiscal Year 2022,  Tampa's  $1.8 Billion budget increased 30%, or $425M over the previous year's budget.   There are a variety of reasons for that, many may be very legitimate, but is that where all the extra real estate tax income went?  Is that acceptable?

5) This flies in the face of and dodges the spirit of Amendment one passed by voters in 2008 to limit how high their taxes could go

6)   Inflation is presently so bad that going to the grocery store, filling up the car, or buying clothes is becoming prohibitive.  Groceries are up 11% over last year , gas up 34% over last year, and clothing up 11% since 2020, 

7)  The mayor says there has been no increase in the city's millage rate in 30 years, so one is due.   That shows a basic misunderstanding of the millage rate.   Millage doesn't need to change in order to increase city revenues. The increase in property values does that.    The house that was $100,000 30 years ago, paying $620 in taxes to the city, is now worth $1.5M, and the owner is now paying the city $9300 a year in taxes.

8)  The mayor is quoted as saying Tampa voters "want better infrastructure and are willing to pay for it."   Did she do a poll?  How does she know if that's what voters are willing to pay for?  

9)  The mayor says the money will help pay for 10,000 new housing units.  Why do I want to pay for 10,000 more housing units?  

10)  The National Council of Cities says cities need to figure out a way to use taxes to create "sustainable" income for cities, so that when there's a downturn in the economy the city doesn't have to reduce services.   I have to reduce my budget when there are economic downturns in my life, why should I pay to insure the city doesn't have to reduce its spending?

Sample Letter:

TampaCityCouncil@tampa.gov   (will go to all city council members)  If you want to send something to Mayor Castor email is a contact page

Public Comment Form: if you want to have your comments on record  https://www.tampa.gov/city-council-meeting-public-comment-form 

Dear Tampa City Council Members,

It's evident that the city's income from real estate taxes has been steadily increasing year after year. The consistent 9% annual growth in real estate tax revenue, as indicated by your budget, suggests that the city is already benefiting from a substantial inflow of funds. Given this trajectory, the proposed 16% tax increase seems excessive and raises concerns about the necessity for such a drastic hike. Additionally, the city's financial situation is buoyed by rising real estate values and new developments contributing to the tax base. This expanding revenue stream, coupled with the fact that other taxing districts can potentially follow suit without citizen approval, underscores the potential for unchecked taxation.

The intention to fund 10,000 new housing units with increased taxes warrants scrutiny as well. Without clear evidence of public demand for this expenditure, citizens should have a say in whether their money is directed toward such projects. Additionally, the city's claim that an increased millage rate is necessary for better infrastructure implies a misunderstanding of how property values contribute to revenue growth. The property appreciation over the past 30 years already results in significantly higher tax contributions from homeowners.

 It is also essential to ensure transparency and accountability in fiscal decisions. This sentiment is especially relevant when considering the impact on taxpayers who are already grappling with the current inflationary environment. Escalating costs of essentials like groceries, gas, and clothing place an additional burden on citizens, making further tax increases concerning and detrimental to our financial well-being.