Thursday, June 11th, 2015 at 2:44pm

The Penny Sales Tax – Why You Should Vote No

Posted by admin

The Penny Sales Tax

Why You Should Vote No

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners recently voted to hold a special election this November for the renewal of the one-cent local sales tax option that expires December 31, 2017.
If passed, we will pay a 7% tax on all purchases up to $5,000, instead of the regular state sales tax of 6%—a 16% increase, for another 15 years.

The money from the Penny Sales Tax is split into thirds between Lake County government, the School District, and local incorporated cities.  According to Lake County’s figures, they will receive $74.30 million within the next 5 years from the county’s 1/3 share.  If that estimate is correct, that is a total of $782.7 million that will be taken out of taxpayers’ pockets over the next 15 years.

You should vote NO for this tax because:

  1. There is no clearly defined use for the $782.7 million this tax will generate.  You do not want to give a blank check to Commissioner Jimmy Conner and the other politicians.
  2. There is no real, independent oversight of the tax revenue being spent.  Without accountability, this $782.7 million will be used again to generate political contributions and political influence.
  3. The tax proposal does not provide a positive economic impact for the County. There are no guarantees that local companies and workers will get a fair opportunity at getting any work generated by the tax.  Your money will be used once again to hire out-of-county workers and companies.
  4. Enough is enough!  Lake County has multiple funding sources on most of the items the politician’s cite this Penny Sales Tax will fund.  At what point do they have enough of your money?
  5. The Lake County Board of County Commissioners is trying to suppress the vote of seniors and the poor by quickly scheduling an off-year election at a huge expense to Lake County taxpayers.
  6. According to Emogene W. Stegall Supervisor of Elections Office, this special election to suppress the vote will cost Lake County Taxpayers $440,000!

The main issue we have with this Penny Sales Tax proposal is that the ordinance is structured to allow millions of tax dollars to be used as a slush fund for Lake County government.  There are no controls or guidelines in place to prevent officials from doing as they please with our money. The tax was originally adopted to address very specific infrastructure issues.  It has since been wasted and abused due to government overspending.  Over the last 15 years, the tax usage was not even properly audited. The money was not spent on voter-approved projects because of irresponsible and weak oversight.

To make matters worse, much of the tax revenue raised in Lake County from the Penny Sales Tax was paid to out-of-county vendors, contractors, and subcontractors as a reward for political contributions.  Local providers were locked out of bidding on many of the projects because of the way the Request for Bids were specifically worded against them.  Consider this point, from 2009-2012, during the worst of the Great Recession, when unemployment and misery was at its worst for Lake County, the School Board awarded $119.6 million in general construction contracts—not even one contractor was from Lake County.  In fact, the School Board hired a contractor from Rhode Island at $2.4 million to install air conditioning at a Eustis school when there were local companies and workers available to do the work.  While hiring local cannot be a mandate, there should have been very specific targets and verifiable efforts to hire local companies and workers.

Here is the truth you should know about the Lake County Penny Sales Tax that the politicians won’t tell you:

1. Why does Lake County have a Penny Sales Tax?

Lake County has a large number of senior citizens and poor people who do not pay property taxes.  Politicians use the Penny Sales Tax specifically to make seniors and poor people pay their “fair share.”  The tax was originally created in 1988 and renewed in 2001 to include schools.  Officials used fear and predictions of economic Armageddon each time to get it passed.

2. Why is Lake County holding and paying for a Special Election on November 3, 2015 when it could have included the proposal in the Presidential Primary Election, just four months later on March 15, 2016? 

The current Penny Sales Tax does not expire until December 31, 2017.  Lake County could save money and put it on the ballot in 2016.  However, the politicians want to hold an early off-year election because they know they have a better chance of winning.  If it were put to a vote in the 2016 presidential election year, voter turnout would be high and voters would vote against the tax.  By holding it early, they are counting on a suppressed voter turnout at the polls.  In other words, they hope to keep you away from the polls and muster enough political friends to impose the tax on the poor and seniors citizens.

3. The Lake County politicians who are promoting this tax say, “The penny funds our infrastructure and road projects, fire and ambulance purchases, school technology and many other critical Lake County needs.  It is likely that your business benefits from some of these projects, as well.”  Is this true?  Does the Penny Sales Tax fund all of this?

No, it is not true.  This is a complete exaggeration from a desperate group of politicians.  They will launch a campaign for this tax to pull every heart and fear string they can.  In addition, local businesses have not received any benefits.  Just ask a local vendor, contractor, or subcontractor that bid on Lake County government and school projects—most of them were locked out.

Here are the real facts:

  1. Basic property taxes were established in the beginning to fund all the needs of Lake County and its citizens.  Thanks to Lake County Commission Chairman Jimmy Conner, we all got nailed for a huge 13.8% increase in those taxes last year.  They used the same talking points to push that increase through.
  2. Lake County already gets 1/2 cent of the sales tax generated in the county from Florida’s 6-cent sales tax.
  3. For roads, in addition to regular property taxes, Lake County roads are funded by a 7-cent gas tax (which was just renewed for 30 years by the Lake County Board of County Commissioners in January) and by a transportation impact fee adopted last year, which is the highest impact fee in Central Florida.  A new homebuyer pays $3,194 in transportation impact fees in South Lake County, and new businesses pay as much as ten times more than that.
  4. Lake County schools are funded by regular property taxes at a 4.998 millage rate and the Lake County School District has instituted a special discretionary and capital improvement assessment of 2.2480 mills on your property taxes.  On top of that, at $7,719, the Lake County School Board instituted the highest school impact fee in Central Florida.
  5. For fire protection, in addition to regular property taxes, Lake County voters pay a special fire assessment on their property taxes at a 0.4704 millage rate, which was a 46.0% increase enacted by the Lake County Commission in 2014.  Plus, there is a $390 fire impact fee for every new home built and a considerably higher fee for every new business built.
  6. In addition to regular property taxes, Lake County voters pay a special ambulance assessment on their property taxes at a 0.4629 millage rate, which was increased by 20.1% by the Lake County Commission in 2014.
  7. For libraries, in addition to regular property taxes, new homebuyers in Lake County pay $191 library impact fees.
  8. In 2004, the citizens of Lake County voted for a one-third millage rate that was bonded to purchase $36 million in environmental lands.  It is listed on your Lake County Property Tax bill as “Environmental Land Purchase.”  These purchases have been funded.
  9. In addition to Lake County taxes, many of the local cities charge taxpayers additional taxes and impact fees for parks, water, sewer, police, and EMS/Fire.

The bottom line…everything the Lake County politicians claim this Penny Sales Tax is funding already has many other funding sources.  Those sources were also enacted under the same ploy of “the sky is falling”.  In many cases, funding for fire and other rescue areas are being diverted to non-essential items, thus depriving our first responders.

If the Penny Sales Tax is truly needed, what do we support?

  1. Schedule the renewal of the one-cent local sales tax option for vote in 2016 when more people are heading to the polls so voters can have an honest debate. Don’t allow the politicians to suppress the vote by having an off-year special election.
  2. Require revenues be used for very narrowly-defined purposes to stop the shell game the politicians are playing with our money.  In 2014, when increased property taxes and impact fees were implemented, the politicians said roads and schools were Lake County’s top two priorities.  Therefore, Lake County’s portion of the Penny Sales Tax should only be used for road construction; the School Board’s portion should only be used for new student stations; and the cities’ portion should only be used for roads and utility projects.
  3. Mandate that no part of the money be bonded and all government entities must use the Penny Sales Tax funds to pay as they go.  Debt is crushing the Lake County School District because of ill-advised bonding of the current Penny Sales Tax.
  4. Provide that no part of the Penny Sales Tax be used to pay down old debt.
  5. Take the control of the tax revenue out of the politicians’ hands.  The $782.7 million dollars expected to be collected over the next 15 years is a lot of tax money, and should be closely audited and monitored to ensure the dollars are being spent properly.  An elected (not appointed) Penny Sales Tax Board representing each district should be set up to handle the disbursement of the Penny Sales Tax revenues to ensure the money is being appropriated correctly and to ensure there are no malfeasants.  As written, this ordinance allows no real independent oversight.
  6. Support local vendor participation.  As written, this ordinance does not have any provisions promoting the hiring of local companies and workers for projects funded by the Penny Sales Tax revenue.  An 80% target for local companies and workers should be established.  Prior to project funding, local government entities should be required to prove to the Penny Sales Tax Board that local providers were given a fair opportunity to bid for work.  Targets are not mandates, but this would ensure that local government is committed to local participation.
  7. The Penny Sales Tax Board would not judge the merit of a project but only approve funding based on the criteria as approved by the voters in regards to the narrow scope of projects and to ensure local workers and companies were given a fair opportunity to bid.

We encourage you to VOTE NO to the proposed Penny Sales Tax ordinance on the November 3, 2015 ballot.  

Please get the facts out to your family, friends, and neighbors by sharing this email with everyone in your address book.

We would like to hear from you on today’s newsletter.  Go to www.lakecountygov.info and let us know what you think.  You can leave a comment on this newsletter, or you can click on the “What’s on Your Mind?” button to leave a comment about something you feel strongly about.

The easiest and fastest way to get your copy of The Right Side of the Lake is to “Like Us” on Facebook at www.facebook.com/rightsideofthelake.

Please forward this email to everyone on your list.  If you have not signed up for our free email newsletter service, be sure to sign up at our website www.lakecountygov.info.

11 Responses to “The Penny Sales Tax – Why You Should Vote No”

  1. Presently we have Adams law; The Jimmy Ryce Law; Jessica’s Law; The Amber Alert; Megan’s Law and Caylee’s Law. All in the name of “It’s for the children!”

    In June 2013 eight year old Cherish Perrywinkle was kidnapped, raped and murdered when she disappeared while shopping with her mother at a Wal-Mart by well known sexual pervert Donald Smith in Jacksonville, Florida! She didn’t get a law named for her – in fact she hardly got an honorable mention.

    NOW – “Faux” News Bill O’Reilly has been working along with Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley to pass yet another worthless law named for a lovely dead child.
    Today the parents of the victim of “Kate’s Law” will address Grassley’s committee in an effort to fast forward this important legislation to make it mandatory to incarcerate an illegal citizen who commits more than one atrocious felony in the USA.
    Remember Bill O’Reilly was “infamous” for pushing Jessica’s Law in all fifty states – some of which still refuse to implement same.
    Jessica’s Law was named after Jessica Lunsford the Citrus County girl who was murdered [Raped and buried alive] by John Couey a sex offender living in her neighborhood. The Sheriff at the time was Jeffrey Dawsey! O’Reilly’s crew traveled to Homosassa, Citrus County Florida and Florida’s Fifth Judicial Circuit to confront State Attorney Bradley Eugene King as to why he did not prosecute Couey’s sister and her husband and another couple living in the small trailer and present when local deputy sheriff’s knocked on the door looking for Jessica – the trailer so small they had to know John Couey had her in the closet! Later interested parties would find out – Couey’s sister was married to the nephew of Iran-Contra General Richard Secord. They would also find out that Couey was “a mule” at the Republican’s Coggins Farms pedophile organization near Valdosta, Georgia where FDOT Inspector General Raymond Lemme was found dead under suspicious circumstances while investigating voting fraud scams and the child trafficking by the dark siders. John Couey was tried and convicted and died of suspicious circumstances on death row.
    If authorities had not been protecting John Couey he would have been subjected to “THE ADAM WALSH LAW” aka SORNA. Or perhaps “THE JIMMY RYCE LAW” After taking an award called “THE FRANK CONSTANTINO AWARD” named after the founder of THE PRISON MINISTRY and BRIDGES OF AMERICA who has a history of running pedophile organizations such as THE GREEN ISLE BOYS RANCH in Clermont, Florida – “Marion County State Rep. Dennis Baxley, Ocala, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee was shocked by the Sun Sentinel’s 2013 findings that “hundreds of sex offenders released under the Ryce Law had gone on to injure more women and children! “That kind of victimization has to be stopped. Our first responsibility is public safety “ Baxley said “some offenders with sexual disorders can’t be cured.” REALLY? Wake Up want to be Senator Dennis Baxley! You are sleeping with the enemy!

    Bridges of America was founded by Frank Constantino, a New York mobster who relocated to Miami committing many crimes for which he was ultimately sentenced to 22 ½ years in the FDOC. He immediately began his jail house preacher schemes and was released after serving only 5 ½ years of his original sentence. He was called to the prison ministry shortly after he accepted Christ as his Savior on October 21, 1969, in Belle Glade Prison while serving a 22 1/2- year prison sentence. Upon his release from prison in 1972, he formed two organizations, Christian Prison Ministries and Bridges of America. In 1980, Frank received a full pardon from the State of Florida. And he enjoined all of this convicted friends in this scam including Marion County Bernie DeCastro and Lake and Citrus County “Murf the Surf”: He stole the Star of India, killed two women in the Whiskey Creek Murders, but that’s not him any more
    Murphy, 48, found the lord serving one life term for the 1967 slaying of Terry Rae Frank, 24, a secretary from a California securities company who was involved with Murphy in a scheme to steal $400,000 worth of securities. Her body was found in a creek between Broward and Dade counties.
    Murphy was serving a second life sentence plus 20 years for the attempted robbery of Miami Beach socialite Olive Wofford, who testified that Murphy threatened to pour boiling water over her and her niece if she did not open her safe. He is best-known, however, for the theft of the 563-karat Star of India sapphire and 21 other gems from the Museum of Natural History in New York. The jewels were recovered and the heist became the subject of a movie. Murphy served almost two years in a New York prison for the theft. You guessed it! ”Murph the Surf” found religion while serving two life sentences plus 20 years in an Orlando halfway house run by Bridges of America and Frank Constantino, a fellow New York mobster who sprang him to freedom! To repay his friends Jack Murphy founded Dad’s for Boys in Umatilla, Florida!

    Here is the absolute indisputable facts! On November 21, 2009 the Green Isle Boys Ranch near Clermont in Lake County Florida was owned and operated by Bridges of America. Other parties involved in Green Isle included Donald S. Brown partners with Mel Sembler founder of Straight, Inc. [Now called Drug free America Foundation, Inc. – Sembler is also partners with Villages dictator H. Gary Morse who supports Safe Harbor a boat school in Jacksonville also for wayward boys.] Morse On Nov. 21, 2009 five boys ages under twelve (Per the sheriff’s report) to fifteen years come forth to tell the Green Isle administrator Rev. Steven Zepp they had been brutally raped over the summer by an older student named Tyler Anthony Jackson who had left the school in early November 2009 and returned to junior high school class at Crystal River High School in Citrus County, Florida. Rev. Zepp called 911 – a Lake County Deputy sheriff responded and took a through report [09 191988]. Absolutely nothing else happened. Insiders say Rev. Zepp was escorted off the property by Father Charles Brown husband of Bridges CEO Lori Constantino Brown around December 10, 2009 – Zepp says over a disagreement with management – insiders say over dialing 911 in the first place! New house parents come to work around this time. By February 1, 2010 – two of the victims had attempted suicide. New house parents attempted to get Bridges of America management to get help for the victims to no avail. After the second suicide attempt the house parents demanded help for the boys – new administrator Paula Whetro called 911 on February 3, 2010 at 4:07 PM to report the houseparent’s making threatening calls, text’s and emails to her office. At 5 PM on that date the two house parents was on Orlando TV stations with breaking news of the boys plight. The next day the whistle blower’s received a threatening communiqué form Bridges lawyer Daniele Urban of Fisher and Phillip’s of Denver, Co. to cease communicating with media or face lawsuits for libel and slander. Some Orlando reporters attempted to get answers from Urban to no avail. Also on this date Lake Sheriff Gary Borders sent two – detective teams to Crystal River to interview the suspect who had been identified all along. FDLE reports they arrested Jackson on February 9, 2010 for Four Cts of Sexual Battery; One Ct of Lewd & Lascivious Molestation and One Ct of Battery – to which they say he pled “no contest” on May 20, 2010 and was subsequently sentenced to “community control.” In March 2010 disgruntled Green Isle insiders released pictures of a smiling Jackson with smiling Lake Sheriff Gary Borders – a twenty year advisory board member – insiders said Borders and Jackson had a special relationship and the boys called Borders simply “the cop or security guard.” They said when Border vehicle would show up at the ranch Tyler Jackson would disappear sometimes for hours.

    Citrus county court records and Citrus County Sheriff Jeffrey Dawsey Office [One and the same Sheriff involved in Jessica Lunsford investigation!] reports prove that Tyler Anthony Jackson was out committing more acts of dating violence including assault with a motor vehicle – and he was not “registered as a sex offender and he was not arrested by Sheriff Dawsey’s deputies for violation of any court orders! In November 2014 another unregistered child rapist like John Couey also from Citrus County Florida went to work at the Centers for Children and Families in Ocala, Florida as “The Administrative Assistant. The Centers done their due diligence and preformed the necessary background checks on Jackson to which all reporting agencies found no records of his criminal sexual abuse history. In April 2015 after the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office reported to the Center’s they had no criminal history on Tyler Anthony Jackson a follow up letter was received on Citrus County Sheriff’s letterhead from Major Crimes Sgt. Steve Casada one of the deputies who had confronted Jackson in the 2011 violence reports – Sgt. Casada’s letter states “The subject you are referring to, Mr. Tyler [Anthony] Jackson, successfully completed all of his requirements placed upon him by the Department of Juvenile Justice in 2011. Mr. Jackson is no longer identified as a “sexual offender” per Florida Statute. Should you have any further questions or concerns pertaining to his sexual offender status, please contact the Department of Juvenile Justice at 352-860-5105.

    Maybe we do need one more law named after a child! Maybe we need the TYLER ANTHONY JACKSON LAW. A law that demands protection from any and all public officials who protect their friends who murder, rape and rob the innocent people of Florida and America every day and crawl back under a rock with the snakes that created them in the first place. In October 2006 after the suspicious death of Sheriff Chris Daniels at a charity bus race Sembler, Morse, Jeb Bush and their local mobsters came together to appoint their friend Gary Borders as sheriff of Lake County not just in spite of his homosexual pedophile involvement but because of it.
    There is no doubt that Sheriff Gary Borders was “friends” with the Green isle rapist who was immediately identified by all parties on November 21, 2009. These is no doubt that as of February 3, 2010 Sheriff Gary Borders had not only done nothing about the report of the rapes, but had also used his “official office” to cover up the suicide attempts of two of the victims.
    There is plenty of doubt that the rapist was ever arrested, prosecuted or sentenced to anything because if he had been both Florida and the Federal Adam Walsh Law demands sexual registration and even removes the judges ability to plea bargain that demand away.
    There is plenty of evidence that the “official criminals” within the Fifth Circuit of Florida conspired to create a solution to their leaked problems and their co-conspirator’s Gov. Rick Scott and his FDLE joined in on their lies by swearing to them.
    In Citrus County Jessica’s Law means nothing – Tyler Anthony Jackson just like the protected pervert John Couey before him an unregistered sex offender lurks in the darkness – no one including the “official perverts” who created this monster knows if or when he will strike again.

  2. Poor little Beatrice! Oh my dear where have you been? You are another one of those “It’s all for the children schemers!” Maybe you live in “utopia” with Nancy Pelosi and Diane Feinstein and all those other left wing idiots who are rewarded by the right just to keep the people from realizing that things like Planned Parenthood are actually supported by secret contributions from Republicans and funneled through entities like KOMEN to protect the guilty. Bet you didn’t even realize the massive Wall Street body parts business has local ME’s harvesting and shipping body parts out for them just like Planned Parenthood has done for decades. Why, Prescott Bush the grandfather of Jeb and George Walker Bush even lost the 1950 race for Senator from Connecticut because the Catholic church exposed he was the national treasurer for Planned Parenthood. Today all politicians either have their own “it’s for the children scams and schemes or they join others already in progress. Our local Villages State Rep. Marlene O’Toole aka “the Villages tool” has “Take Stock In Child” remember in 2008 she told us she had asked Sheriff Borders if he would like to become a mentor for her boys – to which he asked “can I take the boys home?” She of course claims to have told him no! Now we see she sat on the committee that funded her own personal scam to the tune of millions plus she concocted other money for her “it’s all for the children scheme” and what did she get for misappropriating aka STEALING all these millions from the taxpayers? Not a thing! Politicians are expected to steal all they can carry while in office. If they fail to do so they are less than productive to their handlers trainers. Remember former State Rep Kurt Kelly? He was once involved in KIDS CENTRAL the privatized DCF vendor who “services” (Please use the farmer’s definition) the Fifth Circuit of Florida as “the Lead Agency” collecting millions and millions for their schemes while selecting the best of “the crop” from the downtrodden parents who have been robbed at the circuit’s “room 105’s” until they have no choice but to give up their children. Not to worry Judges like “Larry” Semento will make some secret arrangement and take those problem kids right off their hands. The reason the mind controlled failures like you and so many others don’t like Donald Trump type speeches is because he tells the truth! The truth to buffoons like you is akin to a true Christian holding their Bible and pointing out true scripture before your face – the truth is like pouring gasoline on the devil worshipers. As for your Confederate Flag comment ignorance is bliss. The Confederate war started on April 12, 1861 – the Rothschilds Bank of England financed the north and their Paris Bank financed the south [Now called Federal Reserve, IMF and The World Bank] Why? Because cotton was king and the southern farmers did not need to cow done to the central bankers! On January 1, 1863 Lincoln come up with the idea of the Emancipation Proclamation in which he only freed the “slaves in the rebellious states.” Many slaves threw down their plows and/ or guns and fled north in the winter of 1863 only to be captured by the north herded into barbed wire cattle pens with no food or water and froze to death in a strange land who had only used them as they do today – just another divide and conquer technique. Ignorance has killed more humans and animals than all other diseases combined. And today we are reaching the paramount of ignorance in the world where people are to lazy to search for the truth and will therefore suffer the consequences.

  3. Beatrice says:

    I think it is disgusting that you are spewing your right wing agenda against the children. I understand most of your old codgers have already paid for your children to go to school, but all of these children will eventually be taking care of you. If we don’t all win, no one wins. So, take your Trump speech elsewhere & try to see the good. You slander what you don’t like. Fly your Confederate flag, Fool!

  4. admin says:

    That is better than most people who are in the private sector who have seen cuts in wages and benefits. It has been tough for everyone- not just government workers.

  5. Name says:

    I resent your comment about the LCSO giving the employees a raise two years in a row. These same employees went 7 years without a raise and the County Commissions continued to get raises. If you think the LCSO employees get BIG raises you should think again.

  6. The old Lake County jail behind the round and the “Histerical” Courthouses was built to hold just over 200 inmates. By 1988 it was holding over 300 and the feds was getting disgruntled and demanding Lake County build a new jail. At first they were going to build the new jail down at the Chris Ford county industrial park, but then County Commissioner Glen Burhans went into the swamp and tested the hard pan and brought in experts who said the property where the present Lake County Jail sits was sufficient to hold the weight of that building. So the One Cent extra penny sales tax was passed to finance the building of that jail. Most people at the time though the county would do like the taxpayers have to do and save up the money from the extra penny, but no they like modern people had to have everything right now, so they went to the Municipal Bonding company and pledged the Penny tax for Bond Money to build the jail. The ink wasn’t dry on that bond until “they ” decided we had to have another new courthouse across the street from the new jail, so they come back and amended the use of the ONE CENT to include using it for a another courthouse. In 1989 while they were building the second floor on the Main Street end the entire second floor structure was lying on the ground one morning when the worker come to work. This “Rube Goldberg” structure leaked from the first rain that ever come after they claimed it was finished. When the original ONE CENT scheme expired the greedy bureaucrats at the school board and the cities had to get in on scheme and they demanded a cut of the proceeds – rather than lose their cash cow the county agreed to split the booty a third, a third and a third. Kind of like Jessie James, Cole Younger, the Barkers and other bank robber of old who would rather split the loot than have no loot to split the mobsters running the government cut a deal. So it’s time to renew the deal. The reason they want a special election in November 2015 instead of waiting until November 2016 is because it will be easier to fix the November 2015 election with the little Clint Curtis voter fixer chips than if they have to wait until the presidential election of November 2016 when they will be using those same chips to elect King Bush the third. glad to see you guys upand running again. I hope someone sent you the message that according to a former Major at the Lake County Sheriff’s Office the Sheriff of Lake County spent our tax dollars to sent one of his employee’s to school to learn how to hack your website and find out who some of your bloggers were. It would have been cheaper on the taxpayers if the pervert just had the guts to ask – but perverts are always gutless unless they have total control over their victims.

  7. Scott Larson says:

    We have children as young as 5 years old walking up to two miles to school. We have failing schools in Leesburg which is holding our property values down. Central Florida is the most dangerous pedestrian walking region in the entire United States. Basically, we have a lot of work to do to fix this, and that work is going to cost money that has to come from somewhere!

    1. Our children need sidewalks to walk to and from school. This needs to happen right now, not years down the road. The cost to make the routes safe for all 36 schools is over $50 million. Without the penny sales tax, this will not happen, and more children will be injured and killed.

    2. The suspension of impact fees stole millions of capital development dollars from our schools. Regardless what other counties charge, there is a real cost to adding space to our schools. If developers want to make growth their business, they need to cover those costs and stop asking existing residents to subsidize their income. But here is an added problem, we cannot subdivide them at all. This is because anything we add will then be taken away by the state. This means that the school district has to come up for ways to house these new students from the general budget. You know where those developer subsides ended up coming out of? School buses! It placed over 4,000 children’s lives in danger, and now we need to build them sidewalks. Unintended consequences really stink, but what would you rather have, dead kids or a penny extra sales tax?

    3. Lake County Schools are under funded! Florida is 37th in the nation for state funding of schools and it does not allow for local funding beyond the established mileages and impact fees. Lake County is 46th out of 67 for state funding in Florida. This means we are already doing it with very little, and our kids are paying the price for it. If you think the schools can do better, instead of making wide generalizations, get specific. Look at their budget, attend the board meetings, and suggest your own cuts!

    4. Living in a society is not free! We have no state income tax. Our property tax is in line with the National Average (http://public.tableau.com/views/2014PropertyTaxesbyCounty/Dashboard1?:embed=y&:loadOrderID=0&:showTabs=y&:display_count=yes). Our sales tax is a little above the national average of 5.45%. But we have NO STATE INCOME TAX. It does cost money to run things, to build things, to keep things safe, to move your poop from your home to the treatment center. That money has to come from somewhere. When we decide not to have it come from our incomes, it does not take that need away. A lot of people here support the Fair Tax. Isn’t that a sales tax? It seems like too many people want it all for free. If you want free, I heard the Congo is taking immigrants, but I would go check out what it looks like first, the cost of living here may not seem all that bad anymore.

  8. It is not a penny sales tax: it is a 1% sales tax. I have in front of me a daily commercial article from 5/13/15 outlining all the projects to be done with these monies. You say in your blurb “that there is no clearly defined use”. You are wrong as with many of your statements.
    You are very negative and negativity will get us nowhere. We have to pay some taxes to maintain our way of life.We hold all elected officials accountable for the monies spent.
    Bob Peraza
    Clermont

  9. Vance Jochim says:

    Welcome back Don. Good research. I posted your link in my blog article about this and agree no bonding should be allowed and they should use a 2016 ballot for the issue. You need to address what the schools and cities will do if they don’t get funds.
    Vance Jochim
    FiscalRangers.com

  10. Steven Barber says:

    I’ll vote no…..government is way out of control!

  11. Name says:

    Thanks for the info. Hope you are back for good. Sure have missed your website information.

Leave a Reply (No names necessary. If you put your name it will be published.)

© 2015 Right Side of the Lake: Lake County Florida's local government news source from Citizens for Better Government LLC.

The Right Side of the Lake