News Stories

Bonita Springs Looking at Ways to Refill Emergency Fund After Hurricane Irma Damages

Last year around this time, Bonita Springs had an emergency fund of around $5 million. After Hurricane Irma hit, the city used the rainy day fund to fix things.

“We did not get a loan or get bonded or anything but we took this out of our rainy day fund, if you will,” Bonita Springs Mayor Peter Simmons said. “It didn’t build up overnight but it did disappear over night, so to speak.”

Projected costs for Irma are close to $8 million with the possibility of another million down the road.

But there have been reports that Bonita Springs is considering raising property taxes to help refill the coffers.

Mayor Peter Simmons said that won’t happen if he has any say in the matter.

“I don’t support increasing taxes, I’ll be blunt, I’ll lay it out there. Nor do I support increasing taxes in Bonita Springs or the mil rate. So I want to get that on the record, I don’t I absolutely don’t,” he said.

Simmons said the city is required to set a do not exceed limit on property taxes when holding budget workshops and the number they used was $100 per $100,000 in house values.

The current rate is about $82.

Simmons will have to back up his words with a vote on the new budget come September and he will need support of at least three members on his city council.