Tax Payers Upset Over Penny Tax in Charlotte County
Charlotte County commissioners have some big decisions to make Tuesday morning as they make a final decision on a list of county projects, to be funded by local sales tax.
Join the discussion below, or Read more at WINK-TV Fort Myers.
#1 May 13, 2014
The Charlotte County Board of Commissioners is simply filled with people who are spending the taxpayers money like their is no tomorrow. They need to be stopped from destroying our County's future. Young people won't have even a remote chance to lead the life their parents have when the government gets them so far into debt that all they'll be doing is paying taxes, working, sleeping, & paying more taxes.
The 1 cent sales tax is an increase of 16.67%. It's insanity to vote yes on this tax increase.
Remember every time you go into a store you will be paying more to government, which is the largest employer in Charlotte County.
Government only really cares about itself. Government's motto is "It's more for us & less for the taxpayers."
#2 May 13, 2014
It is just a penny. That type of undisciplined thinking is why this country is under the current mountain of debt. If you don't think it is an issue look at what the debt service will be at normal (ie. 6%) interest rates.
If a penny tax is good why not two cents, 3 cents, 4 cents...? The logic is faulty. There is enough tax money currently being collected to cover the expenses our local government is responsible for. If the commissioners want to engage in projects to get re-elected they can pay for them out of their own pockets.
And if the government really needs more money they can fire some of staff that harass business owners and do other non-core government functions.
#3 May 14, 2014
As far as I'm concerned, the Charlotte County government should be downsized, and a concerted effort made to reduce the ad valorem tax mill rate to provide relief to property owners and businesses. The county government should only be concerned with core functions that can't be performed by private industry. That is fire and police protection, street maintenance, water and sewer service, and parks maintenance. Other than building code compliance inspections, and a handful of other purely municipal functions, the county should not be involved in anything that can be accomplished by private industry, local businesses, and homeowners. Boondoggles like the "Parkside" CRA need to be shelved. Taking care of sewer maintenance and cleaning up the "love canal" known as Lake Sunrise should take precedence over forcing public sewers on folks with functioning septic systems that are not polluting anything, contrary to the failing public sewer systems in Parkside. This so-called penny sales tax is just another way of increasing revenue to feed the insatiable beast that our county governement has become.
#4 May 23, 2014
One of the largest projects they want to do with the 1 cent sales tax, is a 16,000 sq. ft. addition to the Justice Center. Costing the county $36,000,000. That works out to $2250 sq. ft. Yet the Punta Gorda Airport is doing a 60,000 sq. ft. addition at only $12,100,000. That is only $201.67 sq. ft. So something doesn't add up. Also the airport is spending their own money, not a cent of tax money.
These County Commissioners need to be stopped! Charlotte County is already $380,000,000 in debt and growing. They need to show tax revenue to be able to still borrow money. What better than to keep the extra 16.667% sales tax. Yes that is what it is an extra 16.667% not just a penny as so many seem to think. That is what it is all about.
Same with the sewer project on East/West Spring Lake. They could no longer borrow against CCU because CCU's debt was $180,000,000. So they came up with needing to sewer East/West Spring Lake because the spetics were polluting the Harbor. The science does not prove that. But they got their MSBU, so now they can show income and still borrow money on CCU.
Parkside is just Murdock Village with a different name. What they are not telling the public or anyone else is the true project behind Parkside. I was informed during the Charlotte Assembly by a prominent commercial real estate broker what the true plan is. He is against Parkside. What they truly want to do is get rid of all 3000+ residential homes as cheaply as they can. Bring in the Code Enforcement Magistrate. Bulldoze the area completely, then sell off the properties to commercial developers to build retail and office space and multifamily dwellings (Condos, apartments, townhomes). Basically creating a downtown Port Charlotte. Their estimated cost is $35,000,000. They were only granted $9,000,000 in TIF funding. Since it's inception the CRA has only paid back $4,000 of the TIF money. But they Commissioners have promised some of the sales tax proceeds to the CRA when we were promised the CRA would not get a dime more.
Need to look at how they distort the truth about things. I will take one thing here. The county received a NSP (Neighborhood Stabilization Program) Grant. The grant was meant to purchase foreclosed homes, bring them up to code and then sell them to low-income families. Two of the stipulations in the grant was that, 1) The money was not to be used within a Community Redevelopment Area, 2) Was not to be used to stop Blight. All 11 houses the county purchased (at an average cost of $27,500), 10 of which they demolished and built new (at an average cost of $97,500), with only one being remodeled and brought up to code. All 11 homes are in the Parkside CRA! Total dishonesty in a grant filing. Also the reason they created the so called Parkside CRA is they said the area was "Blighted"! So there are two examples of how dishonest Charlotte County Government is, even filing for a federal grant. The Feds need to be informed about that.
This all falls back to five County Commissioners, a County Administrator and an Assistant County Administrator. None will listen to the people who are truly their bosses. It is time for all of them to GO. The only way to do that is vote two of them out in the primary in August or the general in November. Then "RECALL" at least one of the three left and we all know which one that is.
Yes a downsizing of Charlotte County Government is needed also.
Enough of my rant.
#5 May 24, 2014
You know Adrian, you sound like someone who got the ^ss beat running for a county seat. You may be intitled to your own opinion, but not to your won facts.
The Stakeholders Committee report was shot out of the water by the Atkins study;
Here you go! http://www.charlottefl.com/outreach/PublicWor...
Read the report and educate yourself for once.
Thus endeth the lesson.
#6 May 24, 2014
Rant is right. You sound like someone who got beat running for a county seat in the last election.
You maybe entitled to your own opinion, but to your own facts. The Atkins Study shut down the Stateholders Committee on the Spring Lake issue last year, showing septic is the problem. The science does prove it.
Here you go, educate yourself.
As for your math that a penny is a 16.667% tax increase, a third grader who reads such knows and idiot or a liar when he hears the "rant" of one.
Spouting that lie over and over again does not make it a fact or the truth..
Thus endeth the lesson.
Learn from it!
#7 May 24, 2014
Am I missing something. The link you posted was a study done on Sunshine Lake/Sunrise Waterway which is surrounded by sewers. I could see where the Atkins study would shut down the sewer advocates on the stakeholders committee, but I don't see how that shows that septics cause a problem.
I also don't understand your penny argument. The only time I spend a penny on sales tax is when I buy something that only costs around a dollar. Each time I purchase something it usually costs much more than a dollar, I pay much more than one penny, and I will make thousands of purchases in 8 years. Also when you raise taxes from 6% to 7%, I would think you would take the 1% increase and divide it by the current tax to get the percentage of increase. My calculator shows 1/6 to be 16.667777. I like math, could you please enlighten me on your version of math and how you came to the solution for x of 1 penny?
#8 May 24, 2014
It took a year+ for the County to act on recommendations of the Atkins report even though it screamed loud & clear there was a huge problem going on.I live on this Lake. It's been hell.The smell was & is still the equivalent to 150 million+ gals of raw sewer. Atkins group stated publicly that it was THE WORST LAKE THEY'VE EVER SEEN IN THEIR 30+ YEARS IN THE BUSINESS. WORST THAN THE INFAMOUS HANCOCK LAKE!" Did that concern the county?Nope.We are at every meeting making sure this projects done right & completed because if it were not for citizens FIGHTING FOR IT'S CLEANUP this project would have been stalled quite possibly, indefinitely.The county still has not disclosed the source of the problem that has caused fecal coliform test results as high as 7200! This is a lake with 1/2 dozen fresh water springs in it.Its not a retention pond like Trish Duffy tried to label it until a local resident challenged her on her inaccuracy. We are residents who care deeply.A body of water such as Sunshine Lake & Sunrise waterway should be around 200 fecal coliform. Over 800 fecal coliform is a body of water you DON'T engage in.The testingcdone behind Elkam Street sewer lift station was 7200 ! & people are allowed to fish in this lake?Touch the fish? Handle the water by handling the fish?Then unknowingly eat their picnic lunches?It makes me cringe! READ THE $50K Atkins Study. Even though residents brought forward the brewing disaster of the Sunshine Lake/Sunrise Waterway disaster in 2009, despite residents begging the county to take action for obvious reasons, it wasn't until 2012 when Mr. Sandrock gave the green light to begin the cleanup of all that disgusting bacteria in the water.The county informants were not fourth coming when they printed in our local newspaper the complete truth about the bacteria found in the lake. They vaguely worded the findings as "the predominant species found in the lake is NO KNOW TO BE TOXIC". What they DIDN'T tell the people was that 5 bacterias in FDEP they DID FIND are known to be toxic!!! Also there were AN ADDITIONAL 60 OTHER BACTERIAS NEVER EVALUATED!!.YUP.These Commissioners are the people now in office who vowed to protect us! We need to inform more people by writing posts like this! It was THIS FDEP report that spurred the vote to begin the dredge on the waters yet the County did not disclose WHY in the paper. Concerned citizens requested that report & read the findings that Ray Sandrock and our County officials now in office wouldn't tell us about. It was the people of this county that identified the truth not our local paper that writes articles to protect its Government & this County. Thank goodness for the few "Citizen Hawks" that care enough to stay on these commissioners & Officials backs!! Personally speaking it's been exhausting & shocking to witness this level of ..in my opinion...bad politics. If we, the people you see time after time at the public hearings, didn't this disaster would be still festering. The pipes around the Lake and Waterways wouldn't have been changed out.... the work on hwy 41 with all the drain pipes would possibly been ignored,,, & spending would have gone somewhere wasteful like "Parkside" where Trish Duffy had no problem beautifying around the crappy lake because she wasn't for allocating ANY funds from Park Side to fix it. By the way...AGAIN...for those who are unaware... This body of water goes all the way out and into our harbor. And in case you haven't heard our County Commissioners wants to take over approx. 20,000 residential septic systems that by law are inspected annually. Seriously? People of this county. Get involved!This county has to clean up & maintain what they have going on today! before they take on unnecessary projects! Thanks for reading this post. I hope it shed some light on a few matters you may not have known about.
#9 May 24, 2014
You have got to love these Teabaggers who are trying to make it sound like you will be paying 16% in sales taxes. Typical anti-government everything lying BS.
The current tax in Charlotte Co. is 7%. If the tax extension is approved it will stay at 7%.
Let me put it In simple terms that even those challenged idiots would undrestand, here goes.
The state of Florida allows up to only 7.5% sales tax. That kind of shuts up the loud mouth poster being smart about "why not just raise it 3 cents. It can not be done.
In reality there will be no tax increase. It will stay at its current level. It is just an intent to extend the already in place 1 cent tax it more years.
Rather the idiot lying teabaggers like the poster Adrian wants you to believe you would end up paying an addition tax at 16%.
The sales tax rate when I moved here in 1982 was "5%".
It was raised by the state to it's current 6% in 1988. Charlotte Co. added the current 1 cent sales tax in 1994.
For the teabaggers here, that means that Charlotte Co. has seen only an overall 2% tax increase in the last 30 years.
The state of Florida has no income tax like other states, which also have higher sales taxes as well.
Now I would like know how a tax increase, that is not an increase is killing Charlotte Co?
#10 May 24, 2014
You sir are an average Freedom works Tea Party moron.
As another poster stated, the max sales tax that can be imposed in the state of Fl. is 7.5%. It can not be raised any higher, get a clue.
There would be no increase. The sales tax would remain the same which is at 7% you idiot.
Sorry that you feel mistreated at your business, follow the laws and there will not be any problems. I am also sorry that your home business is not making the money you want to pay for that million dollar home you have on the water at Comfort Point.
Perhaps you should be more fugal with your purchases rather then blame government for your fiscal short falls.
Live and learn I guess. It always seems though that your type never does. It seems that it is always someone or something else that is at fault never you.
I have to say this though, I was unaware that the county has only had a two percent tax increase in the last 30 yrs. I had to check it myself to make sure it was not a load of crap. Hell I bet no one complaining here has lived here for ten years let alone thirty.
Like the other person stated, stop bitching about a non-existent tax increase.
#11 May 24, 2014
Honestly, how long do you think that tax ceiling will remain in place?
#12 May 25, 2014
Been like that for almost thirty years. The republican control gov. in the state has cut every other tax and shows no sign of raising or even think about raising taxes.
#13 Nov 28, 2014
Hey.. Let's waste more money for our tight egoistical City and County limitations of what our limited visitor's may think. They just don't think now.. I say we fire anyone doing specific jobs within our County that truly are wasting our money..Or a total waste of space also, as they really just as for show.. NOT helping.. Just playing nice with the snotty faced wealthier caddy nose snooty residents who think they are something..
This penny tax is great and truly think it should be 2 cents.. cause 1 cent is placed for this year and the other cent would be placed in a reserve for next year, or like a savings account which grows interest on it, so ALL would be public and seen daily if requested by the public, which thinking us..Public SHOULD have a say so where OUR money is invested in the sense I don't trust our financial departments.. they blow money.. water through fingers. Sad really..
do we really need more blocking tree's on streets, or newer looking lights on our bridge?! Nope.. Do we really need those bushes to upgrade the already congested streets in PG?!
More regular maintenance as well..Just wasting money away.. or this, or that.. No.. It's the ritzy snooty posh people voting on these projects.. Should allow me to handle. I'd save and get done correctly the 1st time around.. Not this non-sense of correcting yeas after,cause of budgeting issues limiting, or spent elsewhere.. Like they don't think before doing.. Fully. Also, Laishely Park fountains and worse.. the playground which is a head injury awaiting to happen.. who ever designed that horrible structure is an idiot.. and without children.. Obviously.
Yet, they/ County have it here to look and appear ok for those non paying tax payers , or barely season residents collecting Social security not working, nor paying.. Nor lived here prior to even have a say in ANYTHING Our County should do.. Does.. Or, solely being visitors here locally to goggley eye over and truly just wasted nearly $500,ooo to create in full and maintain, too. So...thoughts.. are Dumb.. very dumb plan..
County needs to get 'annual' residing Parent's/Families and many residents together to create, develop and build.. Make choices with and on for us alone.. Not for others to choose for us.
Not selected wealthy voted citizens please.. We can be so much more effective, than those grossly over waged ones.. Get them out and Bye-bye to them and their expensive salaries.
#14 Nov 28, 2014
I completely agree, yet our wonderful Government obviously spends OUR taxpayer money elsewhere.. I am helping with the Master Plan shortly.. Married to a Court County employee barely making enough to help our Family annually, although should be receiving more money for the non-sense he puts up with daily. Stinks .. truly does, yet we daily see the higher paid positions not doing enough for our county,yet horribly wasting the money. Thankfully his budget is a wise one.. he has one for his Department and frugal with the money offered annually.
They haven't had raises in nearly 10 years now, despite our cruddy economy. We have four children and lived here since 1987. I'm truly disappointed overall at the lack of changes this County hasn't invested.. More so our very stern non-sense named the City of Punta Gorda.. NOW.. That gets my gooses tail right there.. They over charge for the Convention Center by 60 % compared to other venues without reasoning, nor cause.. Who would honestly pay $45 for one filet mingeon dinner plate per Guest.. umm NO.. Or, a $14 basic caesar salad at the new Convention Center either.. BS really.. grossly priced for their new centers daily upkeep and paying useless employee's who needn't that job, as they cannot do it correctly and sadly over charge everyone these ridiculous higher priced items throughout. I see SO many County and City employees wasting upon our tax payers hourly wages by having 4 men on teh side of the road doing whatever requested when 3 just sit there wasting OUR money.. Pathetic waste and could be spent elsewhere..
OR.. Herald Street Parking garage building spaces limiting ALL outsiders and ALL newer businesses/owners within their gorgeous seasoned dated older than 55+ expensive Downtown Punta Gorda, cause they OVER charge their rental spaces at $16-$25 Sq Ft PLUS The City was charging for insurances and few others things THEY should be paying for..
..OH..Best one, rather than simply allowing ANY Business to operate within their ego ridden building ( Only parking Garage in PG).
Nope.. ONLY Artistic Business, as PG has a stature to uphold now..(Pffftt... Suuuuuuure)* May* allow with in their only Art in downtown area and their City of PG highest ( excluding new comers and anyone) BS standards to be * allowed* to rent.... Read about a respected Tattoo Artist well known going to court, as she was NOT allowed to rent a building .. She is a brilliant Nationally known Artist and excluded.. She thankfully WON and horrible the City would ever consider to not allow her to rent annually. She sells Art painting, as well.. MY point.. That is just one less expense for us, taxpayers to have..One mistake our City and County Reps have absolutely NO right to make that choice, nor exclude someone trying to rent and they should be more concerned about filling rather and updating to newer times.. Bringing more business into, therefore, more money created..generated overall.. By not allowing name Copr business into certain areas is beyond me.. to uphold old ways.. from evolving.. like banning a Starbucks in Downtown, over 1 coffee shop to remain, while would bring in more people?! don't understand..
Yes, these morons run our money and decisions made by biased higher ups whop choose them by buying their votes. sad really.. we aren't going far then, if so..
Ticks me off is the parking garage in PG ONLY have 4-6 total Businesses in there leaving 90% of the .. wait.. I'm Sorry "our" Taxpayer's Gov building leaving open/vacant.. WE pay for the rest of the money to operate monthly btw.. taxes, insurances, electric ect.. NOT the sole responsibility of the businesses owners using, or renting, or even the Non-Profit College in there alone provide that loss to be covered, plus the extras to monthly maintain their bathrooms, cleaning, gardening ect, rather fill the damn place up fully without being selective ...
Yes.. we pay....US.. working residents.
SO, Horribly limited use
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