Thursday, October 30th, 2008 at 9:00am

$30 Million Dollar Hosing of Lake County Taxpayers

Posted by admin

On Tuesday, October 21, 2008, the Lake County Board of County Commissioners passed a Resolution Adopting a Supplemental Budget for Fiscal Year 2008-2009, which adds $30,593,809 to the already bloated budget of $455,689,641 (click here to view Resolution and Budget).  The new county budget for this year is a whopping $486,283,450, or $31,458,960 higher than last year’s initial budget.  How many working families in Lake County have seen a 6.9% increase in their family budgets since last year?  Do these people understand that Lake County and Florida are in a deep recession, if not depression?

In the actual Resolution it states the following, “Whereas, unanticipated revenues and actual cash balance forward dollars have been received by and are available to Lake County and, in order to authorize expenditure of these unanticipated revenues…”  The working man’s translation is, “We found $30 million dollars and we are going to spend it!”  Let’s see, since growth in the County has slowed to a crawl, instead of spending this money couldn’t you do something a little more important like – giving the people their money back?

Instead of giving the people their money back or, at the very least, keeping working people employed in the County, the Lake County Commissioners decided to allocate these dollars to their pet projects and earmark spending.  An example of one such earmark hidden inside this $30.5 million dollar budget increase is an allocation of $10,481,309 for a “re-budget” of a parking garage and other downtown Tavares government buildings.  Is the Lake County Commission covering up major miscalculations of the actual costs of construction, or did they decide to upgrade a pet project?  Either way, they are way out of line and way out of control.  The Lake County Taj Mahal/Courthouse, which is under construction, is a testament to this County’s out of control spending and it is particularly painful as hard working county employees are being laid off.

Other earmarks include $7,133 for a PEAR Park archeological survey; $30,000 for a bus wash; $4,789,298 for public land acquisitions; $287,719 for a Horticulture Learning Center; $2,000,000 to purchase park land in South Lake County; $14,000 for support of the Green Fair; $186,086 for a landscape buffer for central landfill; $57,686 for a North Lake Community Park; and much, much, more.  A blind man in a dark room could see that most of this money if flowing to the BFFs of the County Commissioners, and each Commissioner is angling to have his or her name permanently embossed on some park or building.  Just look at the budget and see how they don’t even hide the blatant cronyism and corruption.  It’s truly shocking!

The Commissioners are continuing their history of out-of-control spending.  Two months ago, we revealed the huge increase in our taxes in Lake County’s 2007 budget.  They are doing it again!  This is the second time they have amended the 2008 budget after the initial budget approval, trying to hide the tax increases from the public.  Instead of increasing taxes and out-of-control spending, the Lake County Commissioners should be giving this money back to the people, which would mean an extra $248.00 PER HOUSEHOLD! The reason Lake County has so much money is that growth did and does pay for itself, and more.  County and school politicians are lying when they claim they don’t have enough money. The problem is they are spending too much.

The Lake County Commissioners are not representing the best interest of the people they serve.  They are out-of-touch with how people are struggling during these extremely difficult economic times and are making radical decisions on how to spend our money.  It is time to get mad and stop government greed and corruption!  Whether it is through votes, emails, or telephone calls, we need to send a clear message to all politicians that we will not tolerate mismanagement of our money.  In the next election, vote for someone that will roll back taxes, spend our money wisely, and look out for our best interest!

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