Manatee County Commission approves $530M tentative budget

skennedy@bradenton.comSeptember 11, 2013 

Fleur Wilson, 84, center, chats with Deputy County Administrator Dan Schlandt, right, and County Attorney Mickey Palmer, middle. SARA KENNEDY/Bradenton Herald

MANATEE -- A lone taxpayer turned up Tuesday to protest the county's $530 million proposed 2013-14 budget, but her notice showing a $1,600 increase in one year may be changed, officials said.

Fleur Wilson, 84, a retired French and English teacher, told the board she couldn't afford a tax increase so large, and asked for help.

"I call this an unrealistic tax increase for one year of $1,600," she said during a public hearing about the budget at County Administrative Center.

County Administrator Ed Hunzeker told her: "There is nothing this board is scheduled to do that would cause your tax bill to go up $1,600."

He asked Deputy County Administrator Dan Schlandt to check her paperwork for errors.

Schlandt said after the meeting that changes in Wilson's situation may have affected her homestead exemption. He expects a definitive answer today from the Manatee County Property Appraiser's Office.

"I hope it's a mistake," Schlandt told Wilson about her tax situation.

Wilson said she had moved here from New York in 1995, where she was school teacher for 28 years.

The board passed by 6-0 vote a tentative millage rate it certified Aug. 1, which remained the same as last year at 6.2993 countywide.

That means a resident who owns a $150,000 property in the unincorporated area would pay $1,056 in taxes after exemptions, according to county documents.

The board also passed by 6-0 vote two resolutions approving a tentative budget, with the final vote slated after a public hearing set for 6 p.m. Sept. 19.

County Commissioner Vanessa Baugh was absent due to a health issue, officials said.

Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter @sarawrites.

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