The Taxman Cometh

The Taxman (Written by George Harrison, performed by the Beatles)

Let me tell you how it will be
There’s one for you, nineteen for me
‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman

The other shoe dropped on the residents of St Lucie County. After seeing that Port St Lucie City Hall was not burned down to the ground on the news of an 18% tax hike the County figured it was okay to announce their own tax increase.

Tax BurdenThe County has been dipping into reserves for the past few years to cover the budget deficit. Those from the County will tell that they’ve been cutting government to the bone. To the bone I tell you. That’s probably why they purchased a 4 acre plot of land in Tradition from Digital Domain Land Holdings for $590,000 dollars so the Tax Collector can have a new office. (Digital Domain, the gift that keeps on taking.)

The County didn’t purchase a building. The County spent over half a million dollars to purchase 4 acres of empty, flat, undeveloped, prime real estate. They’ll have to spend considerable more to build the Tax Collector a new building. That’s after renovating the offices that the Tax Collector occupies at the county office building, where it belongs.

More prime real estate purchased by the government, taken off the tax rolls. Only to have the same government complain that they’re not getting enough taxes.

Should five per cent appear too small
Be thankful I don’t take it all
‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah I’m the taxman

Highlights in the budget.

County Administration personnel costs will increase 37%. To be fair most of that increase was an inter departmental transfer of a job. The old position was $102,000, the new position is $154,000. CUTTING TO THE BONE !!!

Good news! The County’s $10 million contract with Torrey Pines ends in fiscal year 2016. So this coming budget will include the last payment to Torrey Pines. A contract is usually when two parties agree on a trade of value for like value. Usually it’s money for goods or services. I wonder what the County is getting in return for the money part of the contract. I also wonder if that check will come back RETURN TO SENDER, NO FORWARDING ADDRESS.

$5.7 million to libraries. I know I will be hated here but I have to say it. When was the last time you researched by flipping through a card catalogue? Sat at a library table with a dozen books open in front of you? Unless you’re in med school or law school (they have private libraries) the answer could be decades, if you’re young enough the answer might be never. Technology has made the library obsolete. There, I said it, let the hate rain down. There will always be a place for hard copy books. The original library system was a philanthropic endeavor. There is no reason it cannot be returned, like a library book, overdue.

But don’t people have a right to free books? What about people who cannot afford the internet, or a kindle, or an Amazon account? To that I say – don’t people have a right to free guitars? What about people who cannot afford a Gibson, or a Strat, or a Guitar Center credit card?

Never confuse Wants and Needs. That’s the prime problem with government. Everything is a dire Need. When in reality they are mostly Wants.

We NEED to purchase environmental lands. Why? Between the federal, state, county and local governments, they own over 35% of the state of Florida.

We NEED a public transportation system. Why? I’ve seen the buses. I’ve seen no one riding the busses. It would probably be less expensive to give those who have no other means of transportation vouchers for private cab service.

If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street
If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat
If you get too cold I’ll tax the heat
If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet

We’re also told that we need to raise taxes for the sheriff’s office. Interesting because the sheriff’s office has its own line item on your tax bill. Almost as much as the entire county. Yet still nothing compares to the School District with 3 line items on my tax bill, one line says Capital Improvement another line says Required Local Effort. Those are two words I never thought I’d see in a sentence about the St Lucie County School District; improvement and effort.

The School District still hasn’t weighed in on how many pounds of flesh they’ll need. Fighting parents who oppose Common Core; fighting charter schools; fighting meaningful reform; all costs money.

Don’t ask me what I want it for
If you don’t want to pay some more
‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman

Ask one of the three who voted for the tax increase, Kim Johnson; Paula Lewis; and Chris Dzadovsky; and they’ll tell you that it’s only $35 or $45 per family. Just the cost of a few pizzas. So on the nights when you’re not eating your pizza think about Chris Craft in his new Tax Collector building and think about the three commissioners who would prefer you not eat your pizza.

Now my advice for those who die
Declare the pennies on your eyes

‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman

The taxman is not done. He’s never satisfied. There’s always more. Expect a sales tax increase as well. A tax that is truly regressive. Meaning those at the top of the economic ladder don’t feel the pinch but the single mom trying to make ends meet with 3 part time jobs at the bottom of the ladder, she feels it like a ton of bricks.

Looking at the personnel budget line item of every department at the County and then dividing it by full time employees I have to believe that few who work for the County will feel the pinch. Why are they making 3 and 4 times the median per capita income for the county?

Are we still to believe the cuts have been to the bone?

And you’re working for no one but me
Taxman!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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