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No support from City Council to raise property taxes Roger Weeder, First Coast News

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville City County rejected a proposal to raise the millage rate to help cover the expense of police and fire pension obligations.

On Monday morning the council as a whole voted 18-0 to keep property tax rate the same while exploring the option of a half cent sales tax to cover unfunded pension expenses.

Councilman Richard Clark proposed the millage rate increase, but found only six votes in favor of the idea.

Clark who also heads up the fiance committee told the council what needs to be done next is cutting $30 million from the budget to balance it.

Councilman Reginald Brown said the end result of the decision, "Leaves us with an ox in the ditch." By that he referred to the tough position the city is in right now.

On Tuesday, Council Bill Gulliford has called for a meeting to explore in detail the nuanances of the half penny sales tax and the posssiblity of putting it on the ballot this fall.

The Mayor's Chief of Staff Chris Hand said Mayor Alvin Brown is not supportive of raising taxes and still believes the Jacksonville Electric Authority can play a huge role in helping the city fund its unfunded pension costs.

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