Tavares, FL June 13, 2015
The issue will be on the November ballot, costing $440,000 (or I heard $900,000 at the Board meeting) to hold the election just for this issue.
Today, like Vesuvius erupting, the old Right Side of the Lake blog, written by Don Magruder, erupted with many reasons to vote NO on the tax.
Several of the reasons are correct. However, the School District and the Cities would be hurting if they each lost their 33%, or about $10-million per year for each of them.
I also believe the vote should take place in 2016 during the regular election, and not in a special election costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.
My Opinion - followed by link to Right Side of the Lake blog article
My first argument against the sales tax renewal is that the school board (Rosanne Brandeburg), at least one city (Eustis) and possibly some County Board members are planning to SELL the future tax revenues in bonds to enrich attorneys, bond salesmen, construction firms and leave future boards with no funds to allocate. They should all agree in writing they will spend as revenues come in each year, and not pay interest and fees to get some of the money early.
My second argument is that most government entities have no professional level performance metrics for departments like practiced in business. Thus why give them money when they won't define performance metrics and be accountable for their spending and work?
The third argument for the COUNTY not getting renewed taxes is, like Don says, that three board members pushed through a 14% tax hike last year, and in current budget meetings are already talking about more spending and no stated objective of rolling tax rates back to the rates from two years ago. So why renew this revenue source when they already gave themselves a raise, and one stated reason at one meeting was to ensure revenues if the penny sales tax was not renewed. So, it should be one or the other.
I think the cities and the school district depend on, and need to continue the penny sales tax funding source, but not the County until they completely roll back last year's property tax increase to levels used two years ago, AND they state in writing they will not bond out any of the revenues.