Bill Proctor Savages Tallahassee Property Tax Hike, 125% Police Campus Cost Inflation

Leon County’s longest-serving elected official, Commissioner Bill Proctor, came out swinging against the City of Tallahassee’s majority bloc Tuesday.

“Your recent 8.5% increase in property taxes adds to the economic crunch people are facing,” wrote Proctor in a letter addressed to city & county commissioners, County Administrator Vince Long and Sheriff Walt McNeil.

“A 125% increase in a new TPD headquarters is intolerably costly. No one I represent supports this project. Only 60% of your design is completed.”

“Is there not a limit to how much you will spend for the police headquarters? What is the limit?” asked Proctor.

Proctor’s letter underscores the growing community consensus against a tax increase which Tallahassee City Hall justified with law enforcement associations.

Tallahassee City Commissioner Jack Porter has been firmly against raising property taxes.

Porter’s ally in reform Commissioner Jeremy Matlow penned a column in the Tallahassee Democrat calling out large pay raises for executive management included in the budget, and urged “redirecting resources from luxury departments like ‘Strategic Innovation’ into public safety” instead of raising the property millage rate.

Costs related to the embattled Tallahassee Police Department were projected to increase several million per year, a figure similar to the average annualized debt local taxpayers will incur to pay for what some are calling a “Taj Mahal” for police.

Pro-Tax Conservatives?

Tallahassee conservatives meanwhile are split on the tax increase.

Leon GOP Chairman and State Republican Chair Evan Power tweeted that raising taxes was “disgraceful” after supporting Mayor John Dailey, who voted for the tax hike. He later told a Capital Tiger Bay audience he would have supported Dailey even knowing a tax increase would result.

City Commission Seat 1 candidate Rudy Ferguson who is aligned with developer front group Grow Tallahassee has embraced the tax increase, attacking Commissioner Porter for voting No on at 8.5% tax increase in a recent campaign email.

Fellow City contractor talk radio host and Tallahassee Reports publisher Steve Stewart has also sent mixed messages on raising taxes.

Sources say Stewart has become a mouthpiece for City Hall and establishment political advertisers like Prime Meridian Bank CEO Sammie Dixon and Stewart’s fellow city commission also-ran Dr. David Bellamy, whose Tallahassee Orthopedic Centers is a donor to Stewart and to Ferguson’s campaign.

“No one ever really respected Steve Stewart, but it’s just ridiculous now that he’s taking all that local tax money. He has gone soft on tax increases and after losing badly on city districts, it seems like spiteful attacks against reformers are his only goal,” according to one local political observer.

The Tallahassee City Commission meets next on Wednesday, April 24 at 3 PM at City Hall on 300 South Adams Street.

One response to “Bill Proctor Savages Tallahassee Property Tax Hike, 125% Police Campus Cost Inflation”

  1. Deborah Sykes Avatar
    Deborah Sykes

    My god Steve Stewart is such a dolt. Ran for office three times and lost then became a paid intern for Reese Goad and Blueprint. What a clown.

    Good for Bill Proctor! Making a lot of sense lately

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