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Two big reversals on tax hike, golf course

Sensing a tax hike wouldn’t fly and standing-room only at their hearing, they recessed.

In an unexpected reversal, the Greater Boca Raton Beach & Park District backed off a proposed 15 percent tax hike for 100,000 residents.

They’ll reconvene at 6 p.m. Tuesday Oct. 1 for a final hearing in a bigger room, Willow Theatre at Sugar Sand Park.

Robo calls from Deputy Mayor Jeremy Rodgers brought out so many residents, the district’s board room was maxed out. People complained.

Some speakers backed the tax hike and the district’s intent to build the golf course in Boca Teeca without city help. But most didn’t back either plan.

“Cancel your tax increase and get with the city,” said Investments Limited’s Robert Eisen. His was the prevailing sentiment.

Rodgers led an unusual council resolution against a tax hike and not considering city offers. But he and the rest of council showed up and spoke, praising the district members.

That launched another unexpected reversal. Now the district will reach out to the city to solve their standoff over the golf course.

Working with the city to build and finance the course was even one of district Commissioner Craig Ehrnst’s options he asked other members to consider.

This doesn’t mean the district won’t propose a smaller tax hike at the final budget hearing Oct. 1.

Commissioner Erin Wright asked the audience for a show of hands to accept a 5 percent raise in the millage rate. That didn’t get much traction.

But the district says it needs more at hand to pay not only for the course, but other beach and park projects.

“We’re all in this together,” Mayor Scott Singer said.

By Marci Shatzman

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