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Monday, Mar 30, 2015

County will continue treating for mosquitoes


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Despite some ideological opposition, Brooksville City Council unanimously voted to pass a new ordinance for mosquito control Monday evening.

Mayor Lara Bradburn told the new Hernando County Mosquito Control Director Peter Taylor that she was voting to fund the mosquito control ordinance to “protect our citizenry.”

“Mosquito control is certainly a partnership,” Bradburn said. “I for one do believe it is administratively and legally a county function and should be handled by the general fund … it is a county task, and city taxpayers are certainly county taxpayers.”

Before the vote, Taylor explained that the chemicals — with the active ingredient permethrin — are sprayed at strategic times to minimize the deaths of bees and any other “non-targets.”

“I won’t lie to you. I won’t tell you a sunny story on it, but it’s been tested pretty heavily. We’re under an EPA label, which means we can use the product for public health purposes,” Taylor said.

The mosquito control is determined by property value. The total property value of the city is about $373 million, and at the .0844 percent millage in 2013, it cost taxpayers about $31,000.

If the county moves to increase the millage rate to .1 percent, the mosquito tax could cost taxpayers as a whole about $6,000 more a year.

In May 2012, Brooksville City Council voted to fund one year of mosquito control from Hernando County. Last November, nearly 70 percent of Hernando County voted to levy a “property tax of up to .1 of one mil” to fund mosquito and pest control.

Hernando Today previously reported that after losing some $102,000 for mosquito control in 2010, county commissioners created Hernando County Mosquito Control Municipal Services to make up for the deficit. An ad valorem tax was applied to property tax bills and measured by millage. One mill is equal to $1 for every $1,000 in taxable property value.

Michael Bates contributed to this report.

(352) 544-5283

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