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Observations and musings on Jacksonville Politics

Florida Counties Blast Charlie Crist

Florida’s counties are none to thrilled with the proposals coming out of the Governor’s office.  Apparently, The Florida Association of Counties is more interested with the state’s long-term viability than Charlie Crist’s political future:

“The proposal outlined over the weekend as the Governor’s property tax patch would be detrimental to already struggling local economies.  It is our counties, not big government, which should be choosing the look and feel of our communities from critical services to quality of life. Over the last three years local governments have reduced revenues on average by 9.3 percent.  These reductions have resulted in cuts in services, construction, and employees in almost every county.  

With Amendment 1 and more dramatically the crash of Florida’s economy, everyone is cutting costs and making dramatic reductions.  Counties are no exception.  While some reductions have increased efficiencies, an artificial, one-size-fit all gimmick will prohibit counties from being able to provide critical services that are in higher demand due to Florida’s struggling economy.

The counties in your community provide law enforcement, fire protection, ambulances and airports.  Counties support and provide social services and healthcare – resources in demand now more than ever.   Yet again the Governor proposes to cut more services and halt more construction, without addressing the true inequities of Florida’s property tax system. 

While a revenue cap on local governments may sound good, it is unrealistic and it defies common sense.  If there is a cap, how will local governments address rising expenses such as gas, security, technology, and healthcare.  If revenues are to be capped, so must expenses, which is impossible in a market driven democratic society. To balance any budget, expenses and revenue most flow hand in hand. But to tie one hand behind the back of local governments would cripple our communities, forever hampering any substantive economic recovery.

To further require reductions in non-homestead caps and new homebuyer programs would miss the mark of true property tax reform.  We must look at our entire property tax system and develop a system that is fair and equitable for all Floridians not a good sound bite that would prolong our recession and devastate critical services.”

 

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Filed under: Florida, Florida Politics,

6 Responses - Comments are closed.

  1. Ted says:

    Capping expenses is impossible in a market-driven economy? Rubbish! It is in a socialist economy that capping expenses is impossible. That line was written by someone who is blind to market forces. Undoubtedly, public miseducation is to blame for such a skewed point of view. Every family knows that the family members must cap their expenses, so why is it too much to ask that government do the same?

  2. Truth says:

    Here’s the problem…the Governor wants to cap the revenue (and expenses) of local governments. He’s not concerned with Tallahassee. He’s seizing more power from local governments. Every local official in the state of Florida should rise up against Charlie Crist and tell him to buzz off. If local voters think their local governments need to cap expenses and revenues, elect new local politicians—don’t let the state dictate what local governments can do.

  3. Ted says:

    Any chance at all to shackle the government’s ability to steal is fine with me, whether we are shackling the local, state or feds.

  4. gatorblue says:

    So, the question to ask is…what services would you like to see slashed? Education spending? Police? Fire? What about water and sewer? How about juvenile justice programs? Better yet, how about slashing prison spending and letting everyone out on early release? Should we cut money from the already cash-strapped courts? What about colleges and universities that have already seen double digit cuts in their funding? Maybe we should cut health care funding to poor children and the elderly? Lots of things to choose from. 😉

  5. Ted says:

    Water and sewer should be run by private companies and contracted out. In the arena of education, I could eliminate millions in waste in no time, as could anyone with common sense. In police work — concentrate on real crimes and just let victimless crimes slide. Duval County doesn’t run prisons. However, private companies should run prisons and farm the prisoners out as supervised, chained, paid labor. Colleges and universities are full of waste. Sports programs which don’t pay for themselves –ax them. Trips for teachers and other perks — let them go at their own expense. Take away employee credit cards. (Oh, yeah, some college employees have them.) Health care funding — the poor need to stop using the emergency rooms for the sniffles and hangovers.

  6. […] Florida Association of Counties has announced their firm opposition and Orange County Property Appraiser Bill Donegan has joined their ranks.  Mr. Donegan, who […]

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