Mayor Alvin Brown: No New Taxes! | News

Title (Max 100 Characters)

Mayor Alvin Brown: No New Taxes!

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Mayor Alvin Brown unveiled a balanced budget that would eliminate the city's $58 million deficit at a meeting with the city council this morning.

In fact, according to a statement from Brown's office, he has a  plan that will get the city out of debt without tapping into the city's reserves, or raising taxes and fees.

Brown plans to eliminate 225 city government jobs, including about 50 that Brown himself would have appointed.

Additionally, Brown explained that some city departments have cut expenses. The information technology department will expend $7.1 million less than last year, and the fleet management department reduced its spending by nearly $5 million.

The budget is $961 million, $28 million less than last year.

"I kept my campaign pledge," said Brown. "I wanted to streamline government and not raise taxes or fees, and this budget does that. I made the tough decisions and you have to do that."

Brown's budget also cuts public safety a little. The sheriff''s office will cut 40 positions and lose $1.3 million. Jacksonville Fire and Rescue will be cut $1.8 millon.

"These cuts to the sheriff's office are only possible because of the tremendous reduction in crime over the last couple of year," said Sheriff John Rutherford. "Had that not happened, we wouldn't be making the cuts."

JFRD Chief Charles Moreland said emergency response won't be affected.

"In these times we are living in, we all have to sacrifice, and the fire department is not immune to that sacrifice. We are going to make some cuts in the department, it is not going to impact  public safety," said Moreland.

City Council President Stephen Joost commended Brown, and said he was off to an excellent start.

"The cuts are shared across the board. It should be easier to pass this budget. Usually where we get hung up on is there is always a huge debate whether to increase the millage or not," he said. "It will stay the same and the debate will be more about whether we prefer cuts here versus over there."

Brown urged all residents of Jacksonville to work together. "I need each and every one of you, every resident, every taxpayer, every stakeholder in this city to rise to the challenge."


San Marco Deals

San Marco Businesses