Thursday, June 28th, 2012 at 12:45pm

Cheryl Thomas Tax Question Problem

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Cheryl Thomas Tax Question Problem

Some local Tea Party members have been promoting the candidacy of Democrat Cheryl Thomas for Lake County School Board District 4 seat.  There is no doubt about it, Mrs. Thomas has a strong educational background, but politically she has committed the Cardinal sin–Thomas is advocating for tax increases.  In The Right Side of the Lake Online Candidate Forum for Lake County School Board District 4 seat held earlier this spring, Thomas, on two occasions, stated that she supports tax increases; and, on the issue of impact fees she said they were “great.”  Unless the Tea Party folks have lost their core principals and the people in Lake County believe they need to pay more taxes, we don’t see how her strategy is a winning one.

The Tax Questions

The following are the questions we asked in our Online Candidate Forum in which Thomas clearly supports tax increases.

Q: How would you propose funding school construction?

“To continue to provide new facilities for our District there would have to be a tax increase.”

Q: The School District has over a half billion dollars in debt and federal and state monies for schools are drying up daily.  How do you intend to pay down the school’s debt?

“Looking over the current budget we can see how the economy has caused a decrease in the funds that are available to Lake County Schools. To pay down the debt there would have to be a tax increase.”

On the issue of renewing the local 1-cent sales tax option in which the schools get 1/3 of the proceeds Thomas said, “Yes, the county tax 1-cent should be renewed and should be split 1/3 to all parties.”

For many in our group who believe the funding problems for the Lake County School District is an issue of overspending by the School Board, and not a low tax issue, Thomas’s answers are very difficult to digest.  The taxpayers of Lake County are tapped out, and it is about time for the Lake County School Board to learn how to make do with what they have, just like families across Lake  County.

Impact Fee Issue

On the issue of school impact fees, Thomas gave answers on the question in our forum and the South Lake Tea Party forum that were at best tortured.  We asked the following question:

Q: What is your position on school impact fees?

“Impact fees were great when the county was experiencing economic growth.  I believe it is the need for quality educational facilities, and job creation is important to economic development. The more fees are suspended the more people will come to buy a house in Lake County.”

Hold on, Mrs. Thomas–impact fees are taxes, and they are not great because it has been proven they stop economic growth.  Frankly, we don’t understand your answer.

The response to the South Lake County Tea Party impact fee question answered by Thomas was just as troubling for people who believe in economic growth. Below is the question posed by the Tea Party and Thomas’s answer.

Q:  Impact fees have been a major funding source for capital projects over the last several years.  For the next 12+ months these impact fees have been discontinued.  After the current moratorium expires, what is your position on re-instating impact fees …. Why?

The need for impact fees is great due to the current economic situation. Real estate value has plunged and is not expected to increase any time soon. If assessments are going down again next year it would not make sense to charge a $10,282 school impact fee.”

The first sentence of Thomas’s response makes no sense with the rest of it, and where did she get her number on impact fees?  It appears Thomas does not understand the issue, and the City of Tavares is proof positive the negative results of impact fees.

Finally

Cheryl Thomas appears to be a solid educator, but she is either getting terrible political advice or her Democrat ideology will not let her pass up a tax increase.  Raising school taxes is not the answer, and Mrs. Thomas truly needs to focus her agenda on cutting spending. When asked we asked her how she ranked the school administration, Thomas said, “The Administration in Lake County is a group of hard working individuals who are currently working through some tough times. With the new mandates for teachers, new FCAT cut scores, and other changes being implemented. I believe they are doing a fine job.”

We don’t believe many voters or taxpayers in Lake County would concur with the statement “…they are doing a fine job” based on the performance and finances of the district.  A “B” rated school district with a half billion dollars in debt doesn’t equate to “doing a fine job.”

Plus, now that everyone is about to start paying a new healthcare tax, Americans are just simply broke.  We can’t afford any more government.

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4 Responses to “Cheryl Thomas Tax Question Problem”

  1. Don’t let them fool you, the RSOL does endorse candidates but not in the usual open way. They endorse one candidate over another by finding ways to tear down the candidates they don’t want to be elected. They do this through a variety of ways which include mockery, drawing false conclusions about a candidate from sketchy and often times unrelated facts or statistics, printing untruths they know or should know are untruths, interviewing people who have grudges against a particular candidate, juvenile name calling, using unflattering pictures to represent a candidate. So, don’t let them tell you they don’t endorse candidates because they do. By the time the election rolls around look back and see which candidates are not the brunt of one of these attacks, that’s the one they endorse.

  2. admin says:

    We endorse no candidate.

  3. I really want to know. Thanks.

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