Ballot Initiative Approved – Voluntarily hand over more of your hard-earned.
Once again the subject of taxes is upon us. If the 10% increase from the county and 18% increase for Port St Lucie was not enough, we are now being asked to approve a ½ cent increase in our sales tax rate. It will be on the ballot this November. Not sure of the title of the ballot initiative but it might have titles such as: THANK YOU, SIR. MAY I HAVE ANOTHER. IT’S ONLY THE COST OF A PIZZA. IT’S FOR THE CHILDREN. Or, my favorite, IF YOU VOTE NO, BABY SEALS WILL DIE. We will not tell you why the money is needed. Mainly because we hear a different reason almost every day. So far we’ve heard and read things like: The money will be used for roads and infrastructure we will need in the year 2070. The money will be used to repave existing roads. The money cannot be used to maintain anything that currently exists. The money will help pay for the $60 Million renovation of Tradition Field (Formerly Digital Domain Field, formerly Tradition Field before that. Yes, we are using this opportunity to remind you of Digital Domain, another great use of your tax dollars.) The money will build the first of its kind, Unicorn Park with a special leprechaun exhibit. (Okay, this one I’d like to see funded. If only to have an everlasting reminder of what government can do when it gets its hands on your money.) I can hear you now, “But, wait doesn’t government need tax revenue to operate? Their job is to provide necessary services and as taxpayers, we need to fund their operations.” We are nodding our heads in agreement. If our county and cities require additional money, on top of the massive tax increases they just hit us with, to fund their operations, then they need to be honest about how the money will be used. If the story keeps changing, then the story is probably a lie. To be honest, we initially agreed with the renovation of the ballpark. It brings in many visitors to the county and city. It adds a lot of tax revenue from the tourist tax or bed tax. What concerns us is the scope of the project. The county wants to build a dormitory for the NY Mets players. To be used for the two months they are in town. This must be in response to the outcry and protests we saw this year to the plight of million-dollar, major league ballplayers living homeless on the streets of Port St. Lucie. We will not bore you with the numbers today. We will not tell you that the sales tax increase will be meaningless to the guy driving the Bentley, but will affect the single mom, working two part-time jobs. “Oh, come on,” you say, “it is only a half a penny. It will amount to the cost of a few pizzas during a year.” There you go. You’ve been conditioned to spout the government mantra. Just the cost of a few pizzas, or a night out at the movies. All for the greater benefit. You are going hungry, and the government is having a taxpayer funded pizza party. We will not tell you that the City of Port St Lucie moved $3.5 Million from its roads and bridges fund to the general fund because they had an excess in roads and bridges. We will not tell you that a city council member later said when asked about the sales tax increase, “I think it is a good idea because we do not have enough money to maintain our roads.” Let this become a lightbulb moment. The net effect of a sales tax increase is a decrease in commerce. The county has no plans or ideas on how to raise your income (unless you work at the county offices). Unless your pocket grows, your purchases must decrease, or your savings decrease. It is not complicated. The more you tax something, the less you get. Fewer sales or less commerce means fewer goods and services needed. That translates into fewer jobs. The county wants you to believe that your half a penny sucked out of the local economy on top of the massive real estate tax increases just incurred will have no effect. We respectfully disagree. What we will tell you is the difference between a thief and a conman. A thief is direct. A thief chooses their victim and then goes into action. It is usually quick, and you know almost immediately that you’ve been robbed. – Think of five people voting to raise your property taxes. The conman, short for confidence man, isn’t after just what you have in your pocket. No, he wants a big score. To do so, he must build up your confidence in him. He’ll tell you with just a small investment you can reap great rewards. You wind up robbing yourself. Agreeing to be robbed through your own greed. – Think of those same five people telling you that if you chip in just one-half of one penny, you can reap the benefits of your neighbors millions. So when asked to vote for the sales tax increase realize that you are being talked into robbing yourself, and your neighbors as well. If you believe that your half a penny will be saved for infrastructure projects needed 55 years from now, I’d like to talk to you about purchasing a season pass to Unicorn Park. What say you?