The Hillsborough County government serves residents of SouthShore, as the communities of Apollo Beach, Riverview, Ruskin and Sun City Center are all unincorporated. A seven-member Board of County Commissioners performs legislative functions of government by developing policy for the management of Hillsborough County. Of the seven-member Board, four are elected from single-member districts and three are elected at-large, or county wide. The county Administrator, a professional appointed by the Board, and the administrative staff are responsible for the implem-entation of these policies.
The Board approves the countys operating and capital budgets and the countys capital improvement program. It may take action on any programs for the improvement of the county and the welfare of its residents. A South County Satellite Office is located along the Ruskin-Sun City Center corridor of Highway 674, and includes branches of the Property Appraiser, Tax Collector (also provides voter registration service) and Development Services (review and inspection for new development) Division.
A SouthShore area Government Services Center is planned and will be located in Ruskin. Property for the new center has already been purchased, and funds allocated for the design.
Since SouthShore is unincorporated, no city taxes are levied on property. Ad valorem (property) taxes are based on 100 percent of the appraisal value of real property, business or residential, and vary according to location, construction and exemptions. A $25,000 homestead exemption is available to homeowners who meet certain requirements. Additional exemptions are available to persons who are elderly, widowed, blind or have disabilities. Call the county property appraiser for details.
Floridas sales and use tax rate is six percent; however, sales tax varies by county as individual counties may collect a discretionary sales surtax for special projects. Exempted from state sales tax are food, medicine and professional services. Most businesses are subject to sales and use tax, discretionary sales surtax, corporate income tax and intangible personal property tax. Florida does not impose personal income, inheritance tax or gift taxes. Residents of Florida must file an intangibles tax return if they own, manage or control intangible assets such as stocks, bonds, certain money market funds, mutual funds, loans, notes, a portion of accounts receivable and limited partnership interests.
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
Just Southeast of Ruskin is the National Weather Service office. Weather towers and equipment rising up from the countryside are a fascinating sight. The office is a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Commerce. The purpose of the office is to provide warnings of weather hazards for the protection of life and property in the 15 counties of West Central and Southwest Florida and the adjacent coastal waters. It also provides advisory information for the economic well being of forestry operations in Florida. The office is staffed 24 hours a day and broadcasts weather information continuously on the VHF band. The Tampa Bay area frequency is 162.550 Mhz.
The office also serves as a Research and Education Center with the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, a part of the University of Florida in Gainesville. The office is located at 2525 14th Avenue S.E. Tours are available, but must be scheduled in advance. For a recorded forecast call (813) 645-2506, for administration or statistical weather information call (813) 645-2323.
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