Sunday, August 9, 2009

East Coast Squeeze

Rising debt, sheriff's costs squeeze Palm Beach County budget

Palm Beach County's property tax revenue has more than doubled in the past decade.

But despite the windfall, the county faces its tightest budget year in ages. It's proposing double-digit tax rate increases and preparing to lay off employees, slash bus service and leave some beaches without lifeguards.

"There are certain level of services that the county residents have come to expect," [Sheriff] Bradshaw said. "Those have continually gotten more expensive over the years." More...

To ease the pain, county commissioners last month tentatively signed off on a 14.9 percent rise in the countywide property tax rate.

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