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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Florida the rules are different here Chapter LXXI

One local government can't get simple math right on a two-page document. The total for a gas tax allocation comes to over 100%. Don't you just love Florida?

Linked to- Bright & Early, Bullwinkle,

MANATEE - It was a routine item, unanimously passed by Manatee County commissioners with little comment during an early June meeting.

The two-page resolution specified how proceeds from a nickel-a-gallon gas-tax increase, set to take effect Jan. 1, would be shared among the county and its six municipalities. The allocations ranged from 0.51 percent for Anna Maria to 81.4 percent for the county.

There's just one problem: The figures, when added up, total more than 100 percent.

County officials, acknowledging the error went unnoticed for more than six months until the Bradenton Herald asked about it, pledged last week to fix it but said it won't affect the tax increase.

"It's a typographical error and we'll have to correct it," said Angie Bibler, the county's financial management administrator. "It's not going to have any impact on the tax or the distribution."

The error is in the county's allotment, which should be 80.44 percent, she said. The percentages for the cities are correct.

Officials estimate the five-cent increase will raise about $7.5 million a year, Based on that, the county would have gotten an extra $72,000 under the wrong allocation.

"I have no explanation for it," Bibler said. "I have no idea where that 81 (percent) came from."

Ironically, just moments before passing the resolution on June 6, commissioners passed a nearly identical resolution for distributing revenue generated by a portion of the county's existing gas tax. That resolution had the correct percentages.

State law requires the county to notify the Florida Department of Revenue how gas-tax proceeds will be split. Although the resolution sent by the county is incorrect, it won't affect the tax increase, department spokeswoman Renee Watters said.

"Our part is to take in 100 percent and return it back to them," she said. "It's up to the county how it will be shared with the municipalities."

Bibler said local officials likely wouldn't have caught the mistake until February, after the state returned January gas-tax collections for disbursement.

"Then we would have had a problem," she said.

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