April 15 fell on a Saturday this year, so the IRS, a federal agency known for the bountiful grace it extends to U.S. taxpayers, gave us Tuesday to pay our federal taxes. The moment, for us, has raised a couple of tax-related issues that seem noteworthy. 

First, a bill making the rounds in the Legislature would increase the state’s current homestead exemption from $50,000 on the first $100,000 of the taxable value of a home to $75,000. 

Thus, if the bill is enacted, and using Polk County’s base property tax rate paid by all homeowners, the owner of a home valued at $100,000 for taxes would receive a tax cut of roughly $170. Normally, we would support the tax-cut idea, because we believe allowing people to keep more of their own money helps them and the economy. 

But this time, it’s a bad idea. 

The problem is that while lawmakers may not be overstepping their boundaries, they are stepping on the toes, feet and ankles of local government officials — perhaps even kicking them in the shins. 

And just like when Tallahassee issues mandates to them without attaching any actual implementation funding, local government officials are correct and justified to be upset now that the Legislature wants to cut taxes and deprive them of revenues necessary to fund local services. 

Polk County Commissioner George Lindsey had it absolutely right: “If they want to cut taxes, they should cut state taxes,” he told The Ledger last week. “It’s easy to cut a budget you don’t have to manage.” 

In this instance, county commissioners estimate they would lose $10.5 million in general revenue, as well as more than $2.3 million for roads, sewers, libraries and parks. 

Meanwhile, to cover the shortfall, the County Commission would have to entertain a property tax increase of 4.7 percent just to stay even in revenues, or cut services accordingly. 

So, lawmakers cut taxes and look to voters like champs, while county commissioners — or city commissioners, since municipalities would likewise be affected — raise them or slash services and look like chumps. 

That’s no bargain if you’re in local government. 

Fortunately, local officials — and not just those from Polk County — have a key ally: state Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, who is the chairwoman of the powerful Senate Finance and Tax Committee. 

Stargel told The Ledger she opposes the bill and may withhold it from her committee’s calendar. She noted that many communities cannot afford this hit because they have not adequately rebounded from the recession. 

She’s right, and we encourage Sen. Stargel to follow through on her instincts. Keep this bad bill off the agenda, let it die and save it for a time when the economic tide has risen much higher. 

On a different tax note, however, we applaud Polk County Tax Collector Joe Tedder for trying to track down those scofflaws who fail to assess taxes on short-term rentals. 

As The Ledger reported Monday, Tedder’s office features a six-person unit whose mission is to ferret out rental-home owners who are not collecting , and subsequently not paying, the so-called “bed tax,” a 5 percent levy on stays of less than six months, as well as a 7 percent sales tax on those transactions. 

Almost all other firms — hotels and motels, homeowners contracted with rental companies, campgrounds — paid the tax last year. For 2016, Tedder’s office reported it remitted to the state 93 percent of the bed taxes that could be collected. That generated $10.7 million for Polk's Tourism Development Council to pour back into efforts to promote the county. 

But the county’s inability to collect that other 7 percent cost the TDC about $1 million, and Polk County likely lost that much or more when the additional sales tax on rentals went uncollected. 

Thus, we cheer Tedder for trying to gather as much of that rental revenue as he can. 

Those who don’t charge the appropriate bed and sales taxes are violating the law, and they are being grossly unfair to those who do play by the rules. So, to Tedder’s enforcement team, we say well done and happy hunting.