Mosquito control efforts are being ramped up following rains. Regular spraying to control the disease carrying pests is just one of the many services paid for by ad valorem taxes – that may impacted by this special legislative session. WGCU’s Valerie Alker reports.
The Lee County Mosquito Control District has about a 15 million dollar budget. It has more the hundred personnel who do everything from helicopter maintenance to answering phones calls from people complaining about the stinging pests. Mosquitoes also carry life threatening diseases says communication director Shelly Retovin.
“the ones that are common to lee county are west nile virus, st.louis encephalitis and occasionally eastern equine encephalistis but we’re always on the look out for malaria yellow fever and those – they’re not as common…”
So what’s mosquito control worth? Retovin says the cost is noted as a line item on homeowner’s ad valorem tax bills.
“we’re kind of looking at if you have a 200 thousand dollar house you’re probably paying something like 50 dollars a year for our services.”
Retovin says a tax cut of ten percent could cut into mosquito controls ability to provide the same level of service. Lawmakers are considering much deeper cuts. Some sources credit mosquito control, along with air-conditioning, with the creation of modern day Florida. The special runs through the end of next week.
Recent rains mean mosquitoes are back. Mosquito control, along with air conditioning, is credited with helping create modern day Florida. In most Florida counties ad-valorem taxes pay for mosquito control services. And by the end of the special legislative that got underway in Tallahassee today, those taxes will most likely be cut. Lee County Mosquito Control Communication Director Shelly Retovin – says a funding cut would most likely mean more stinging pests.
“it would be very difficult, 10 percent cut you’re starting to talk – there would have to be some changes, government can always try to do things a little bit differently and try to be creative on saving money – but it would be very hard.”
Lawmakers are talking about a tax cut of nearly 20 percent tax cut. Retovin says in Lee County the cost of mosquito control for home valued at about 200 thousand dollars is about fifty dollars of the total annual tax bill.
Tuesday, 12 June 2007 01:00
Mosquito ControlWritten by WGCU Newsroom