Government Fleet Top News

Lee County Budgets Take-Home Vehicles

May 7, 2008

FORT MYERS, FL – Twenty-five Lee County employees have a take-home automobile, a 42-percent decrease from January. County employees with take-home cars drove more than 253,000 miles from April 2007 through March of this year. They used more than $41,000 worth of fuel at county-owned unleaded gas pumps. The county pays about 20 cents less than general consumer prices because it buys in bulk, according to www.news-press.com.

Those figures don’t include the 18 employees stripped of the privilege since January.

Lee County’s Fleet Management Department did not have those statistics available. The county has more than 2,600 employees.

 

“We have eliminated a lot of take-home vehicles and pool vehicles,” said Assistant County Manager Pete Winton, as quoted by www.news-press.com. “Those are the types of things we look at to go first.”

 

The vehicles do not include the sheriff’s office, which has 564 sworn officers, most with access to take-home vehicles. The tax collector, supervisor of elections, clerk of courts, property appraisers office, and officials with vehicles written into their contract are not included.

The county is assembling its 2008-2009 budget, and officials of each department have been asked to submit budgets based on several scenarios, including with percentage reductions.

The county is expecting a revenue reduction of about 13 percent in the next budget year. It is being caused by an estimated $85 million shortfall, the result of fewer impact fees/building permits and gas tax fees; an estimated $30 million loss because of Amendment 1, which passed in January and doubles the homestead exemption; and an estimated $40 million to $80 million loss because of declines in property values.

The county has no written policy on take-home automobiles.

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