Real Estate Blog

Tax Reform

October 17th, 2007 6:15 PM by Sherry Lee

Richard Antolinez of Florida Ballot Initiative has addressed the current problem of taxation in Florida perfectly. (When are you running for office, Sir?)
Beyond the fact that our forefathers explicitly wanted to protect us from unlawful confiscation of our property by taxation or any other means, the inequity of Florida’s system is equally egregious.
Why are a small portion of individuals, who purchased properties within the last 4-5 years or those who do not have the SOH, as part time residents or investors, expected to carry the state’s rampant expenditures? Those who have enjoyed SOH since inception have been protected from the recent doubling and tripling of tax levies but enjoy the same benefits and, in fact, are demanding more. Why are our gambling revenues going to benefit northern Floridians who voted against them? Why is there such a tax disparity between north and south Florida?
Your comments are right on the mark – suggesting all Floridians should pay for the services they want instead of saddling just a few with that burden. Whatever happened to living within your means? Government shouldn’t be allowed to spend like drunken sailors and send us the bill, unconcerned over our ability to pay for it? We don’t need any more public golf courses for umpteen million dollars of our money. Nor is it fair to expect us to carry Florida’s educational budget alone, particularly for those of us, who do not have and never had any children in this system. We, who were willing to invest in this state, are being singled out, discriminated against and punished for doing so.
We also need to direct our attention and ire toward our local governments who have the audacity to use our own money to lobby and work against us and our wishes. Isn’t it embezzlement when you take someone’s money for something other than what it was intended? We no longer have politicians. We have gangsters, robbing us blind and chasing us out of the state. They are ignoring us, the directives of the legislature and shifting the loss of tax revenue to other fees and increasing the value of our properties in order to defray the recent, miniscule tax reduction, while the actual value of our properties have diminish. They are loathed to relinquish their bonanza.
We not only have to demand change, we have to get them out of office at each and every election, until newly elected officials finally understand for whom they are working. They have tried to frighten us by threatening to cut essential services, when it’s mostly their overblown salaries, staff and excessive expenditures for duplicative services that need cutting. The salaries of local government are beyond the scale of what is appropriate for Fla., higher than NY, a city with greater problems and demands than the small cities of Florida and with many more businesses to contribute to the tax base. Revenues should be absorbed by all people with a consumption tax. Savings could be found by combining services in each county instead of individual small towns running their own fiefdom, and a change from pension to self directed 401k plans for civil servants should be implemented. Last but not least, if we can’t afford it – we don’t need it.
Our legislators have made Florida a hostile environment for recent arrivals and businesses. Quality of life can only be improved by attracting people and companies willing to invest in the state not drive them out. More business will deflect rising taxes by absorbing them, but taxing them out of existence with unfair “best use taxes”, etc., will only drive them away and leave us holding the bag of trying to satisfy the insatiable tax collector. Properties need to be at both 1% millage and appraisal value at 50% or less to make any impact vis a vis the majority's income, i.e., ability to pay, to bring equity to this situation vs. Homesteaders, or better yet, exchange property tax for use tax in the name of fairness.  Most of all, we, the Realtors and owners or potential owners, need to band together in this fight in order to make an impact.   We all have the same ax to grind, to save our ability to have an affordable home and to have an income by selling real estate.  Let’s get together and make our voices heard.
Delray Beach, FL

Posted in:General
Posted by Sherry Lee on October 17th, 2007 6:15 PM



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