Right now East Lake Woodlands is considered “unincorporated” and with its 7000 residents it’s no wonder that the city of Oldsmar has its eyes fixed on it. East Lake Woodlands is an upscale golf course community and property values well exceed those of other Oldsmar Real Estate. The city of Oldsmar is looking to annex them and a few commercial operations such as the Shoppes of Boot Ranch and Lockheed Martin. This would be a significant revenue increase to the city of Oldsmar in terms of taxes. Yet the city provides a list of items they say will be an advantage to residents should they be annexed such as flood insurance, garage collection, recycling, road maintenance and recreational programs.
The vote takes place on March 10 and from what we are reading many doubt this will fly. Opponents say there will be an immediate increase in property taxes and a new tax on electricity and other utilities. Plus, the mere thought of more Government makes residents queezy. Oldsmar has been known to have some highly involved party politics and a heavy hand whereas Pinellas County has more relaxed requirements and restrictions.
The East Lake Fire Tarpon Special Fire Control District strongly opposes this action. They fear that continued emergency services provided by the local Fire District is a serious consideration. They believe that either an increase in taxes will be needed to keep the Fire Station open or that the Fire Station will close. Additionally, they say that if kept open, 6 firefighters would lose their jobs resulting in longer response times.
The city of Oldsmar says that the fire protection will stay the same and that the impact on property taxes is negligible; roughly $2.00 a month for a property with a taxable value of $240,000.
Who’s right and what’s the truth? Residents are encouraged to contact the city of Oldsmar and the East Lake Fire Rescue websites for answers to these questions.
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