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In Marion County, commissioners look to CARES Act funds for future tax break

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Marion County Commissioner Kathy Bryant. Image: Marion County video

Marion County commissioners said Tuesday that they are looking to CARES Act money as the means of a possible tax break next year for their constituents.

Commissioners agreed to put in a single request for the remaining $34.5 million available through Phase 3 of the CARES Act.

They’ll get reimbursed for payroll related to the jail, EMS, emergency management and public safety communications. The money will go right into the general fund.

County Administrator Mounir Bouyounes said it gives them flexibility.

“It depends on the economic situation next year,” he said. “You may use some of that money to continue with the business support program. I mean, you’ll have all that flexibility to use that money to make sure our community continues to be afloat.”

Commissioner Kathy Bryant envisions a cut in property taxes.

“In my opinion it’s best served by getting that back into our taxpayers’ pockets if we get that opportunity. This isn’t a slush fund for us to go do new projects,” she said. “This is to make sure that we are financially stable going through the remainder of this crisis.”

Commissioners said they’ll fund existing requests and want to be ready for vaccinations and the future needs of businesses and nonprofits.

The county has already put in for nearly $29 million in COVID-19 relief.

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Joe Byrnes

About Joe Byrnes


Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.