new traffic pattern

Construction on County Road 491, as shown here in September 2018. A state appropriation will help pay for it.

State Rep. Ralph Massullo called the most recent legislative session productive and Citrus County benefited by receiving money for needed projects.

Massullo, R-Lecanto, was the guest speaker at Friday’s Citrus County Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Plantation on Crystal River.

“We did not raise taxes at all this year,” Massullo said to applause.

And while discussing previous projects, he also gave attendees a look at what he will support in the upcoming session. 

— Massullo said he supports raising the age of cigarette and vaping from 18 to 21. 

— Education will continue to be a top priority, he said. Realizing not all young people are cut out for college, he supports spending more money on career and technical education.

Massullo has been working on a workforce education bill (House Bill 7071) to convince young people to stay in Citrus County after graduation.

College, he said, isn’t for everyone and the subsequent tuition bills can be a hardship. HB 7071 allows students to pursue advanced career pathways instead of going to college.

— Health and mental health care reform remains high on his list. Legislators this year funded Lifestream Central Receiving System to the tune of $600,000. Lifestream is a nonprofit organization providing behavioral health services in central Florida.

Massullo said the legislative session this year helped secure funding for several local projects, including:

— $2.5 million for phase 2 of the King’s Bay Restoration Project to rid the water of Lyngbya and other unwanted vegetation 

— $13.3 million to help with the County Road 491 widening project

— $900,000 for the school district’s Project Shine, which focuses on more mental health services in elementary schools to curb behavioral issues.

— $450,000 for the Crystal River Hunter Springs Linear Park, which would include a splash pad.


Contact Chronicle reporter Michael D. Bates at 352-563-3205 or

(6) comments

CitrusCo Citizen

The BOCC just raised the taxes of thousands of property owners of vacant, unimproved lots. They are now going to charge about $50 a lot, every single year--forever-- for "availability" of sewer and water even though no one is living on the lot!!! If you multiple $50 X the thousands of property owners (does anyone know exactly how many?) you get hundreds of thousands, perhaps a million extra dollars in tax money. And where is there money going to? To the new Tollroad to Nowhere that Nobody Wants, of course. We're not told exactly what for maybe to pay for those poor rural folks' internet connections. So yes, the property taxes of thousands of Citrus County residents have been raised, right under your nose. The public hearing was a joke--it was fast-tracked and rammed through before anyone realized what was happening. Anyone who write a letter of protest had their letters completely ignored and none of the public spoke up to support it. Watch out, folks, there's more secret property tax-raising to come and it will all be fast-tracked and rammed down our throats!


Rep. Massullo is a state Legislator and when he mentions “we did not raise taxes” he is referring to the state’s taxes. Property taxes, sewer, water, fire, those are all taxes set by county government.

Mike Arnold


Bill Biedenstein

Citrus County raises fees/taxes for residences, then talks another game. All we hear is political fast talk, not the real truth. This is typical Circus County. Repave the existing roads with the over abundance of revenue. Stop fast talking the people.


Since, you used a photo of the 491 project. I would like to know why the work has stop for the last month? you have got people passing, then trying to crowd themselves into one lane to cross hwy 44. Then others that are in the right hand turn lane trying to beat the light and cut people off crossing 44. Why is not getting done?????


In response to the “we did not raise taxes this year”, I would like to have more specificity with regards to the dates that Mr Massullo is referring to. Are

“Semantics” at play here? Raising fire fees,

for example, is an increase to every property owner....but not “technically” considered a tax. Adding an “availability” water/sewer fee for respective vacant lots is another fine example. These are added costs; just not categorized as “taxes!” Why were the costs involved with building an additional fire facility on Cardinal, due to the need associated with the Suncoast Parkway extension, not included with the State’s cost to build said Parkway?

CitrusCo Citizen

ANNP it's simple. The greedy fat cat tycoon croonies (asphalt, construction, developers, land speculators, and fossil fuel trucking and gas station companies) who line the pockets of FL legislators, want the tollroad/highway of course, but do NOT want to pay anything additional, such as local police force, EMT services, fire stations, hospitals etc. that must be readily available along a highway with traffic going 70 mph or even faster. More highways = more traffic accidents (especially caused by trucks) and We the People are going to pay for it whether we like it or not. So yes, our taxes ARE going to go up. So much for inexpensive living in Citrus County. Masullo and his buddy Galvano are behind all of this. Stay tuned . . more tax-raising to come.

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