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Guest Opinion: Reliance on property taxes alone is not sustainable

April 13, 2013

How does a lifelong conservative get credited as “gladly” raising taxes in Cape Coral? It starts with having the courage to clearly state the problem....

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(37)

Haninginthere

Apr-13-13 5:47 AM

BS! This city has enough revenue to operate properly and functionally. We just need people that are able to use the already large budget to effectively run the city and not waste money. After reading your whinny letter I now know that you are lazy since you want the easy way out by raising taxes and you are not an asset to this city. You will certainly never get a vote from me!

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KirstenThompson

Apr-13-13 7:16 AM

Kevin, I agree that we need to diversify our revenue sources. I am willing to pay for the services I expect from my city and fully support the two new proposed taxes...as long as they are implemented in a fair manner.

1) If the Fire Tax is based on property value, how will the formula be adjusted to reflect increasing property values to ensure the City is funded with what is NEEDED versus funding in excess?

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KirstenThompson

Apr-13-13 7:18 AM

(continued)

2) I am not opposed to a public service tax but I don't think adding it to the electric usage is a fair assessment method. For example, I have a pool and my home is older and not as energy efficient as it should be. I don't use a greater percentage of public services than my neighbor without a pool and a newer, more energy efficient home but with this method, I will be funding a greater percentage of public services simply because I can't afford to replace my windows and reinsulate my house. How is the City working with LCEC to create a formula that will balance these factors to be FAIR and based on accurate average electric usage? Will this apply to commercial as well as residential?

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certainsmile

Apr-13-13 7:35 AM

Kirsten, if my newer home is valued higher than my neighbor and I do not use more services than he does, why should I be charged more? None of the proposed methods are fair to everyone.

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KirstenThompson

Apr-13-13 7:36 AM

(continued)

3) We as residents are being asked to pay approximately $400 per year to fund public services and fire in Cape Coral. Then why are our public service employees being asked to take more cuts? The budget has been balanced on the backs of employees for years. How can we as a City ask for more from our residents yet fail to support our employees? How will this revenue be used if not for employees? The beautifully paved roads won't mean anything if we don't have any employees to maintain them. A police training facility or new fire engine won't mean anything if we can't attract and retain police officers and firefighters in Cape Coral.

I will gladly pay my fair share as long as both capital improvements and employees are taken care of. I will put up one heck of a fight if our employees continue to get screwed, even with the new revenue source.

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1sandy

Apr-13-13 7:44 AM

I say a flat tax by ALL lot and property owners under the fire assessment fee and move on. It is also tax deductible under the IRS rules. If and when it can be determined that more money is being accrued than needed, lower the millage rate.

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KirstenThompson

Apr-13-13 7:44 AM

Certainsmile, I agree. The same also applies to location, finishes, etc. A home in a "better" neighborhood with a higher value doesn't use more services. A 2,000 sf home with higher quality construction and better finishes doesn't use more services than a 'turn key' 2,000 sf home. We have top notch city leadership and many good business people on council. Surely they can come up with a model to generate the needed revenue that is FAIR.

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1sandy

Apr-13-13 8:51 AM

My neighbor said to me, "You know this City Council doesn't think we are on to them." I said, tell me more. My neighbor said, "Well, if City revenue doesn't increase the City will have to lay-off City employees and that will effect City services, Parks will close, Police & Fire lay-offs, less Code-enforcement and that will eventually lead to blight, which will lead to lower property values, you know, our homes will be worth less, and then property appraisals will be lowered by the Lee County Tax Appraiser and that will lead to lower property taxes. It will be a win, win for us." So I said, you think blight is good? My neighbor said, "it worked for my brother in Detroit, his taxes went down 50 percent." You know, you just can't fix stupid!

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charlie66

Apr-13-13 9:39 AM

McCail is LIE<LIE<LIE<LIE<LIE<LIE

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johngalt

Apr-13-13 10:04 AM

Three legged stool, sounds like a loose stool to me...

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netransplant

Apr-13-13 10:54 AM

Haninginthere needs to go online and look at the city budget before commenting. If they think there is excess revenue then please share that with us. Of course this is rhetorical but I agree with that famous ******* line, "there's no fixin stupid".

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lightswitch

Apr-13-13 12:53 PM

Tell us will the ALL the businesses in Cape Coral, Fl. be charged a public service tax? If yes will they be charged 10% as you have indicated it would be charged to the residential homes?

The $150 per home as you indicated based on the population of 157,000 people at 2.5 people per home figures to over 62,000 homes. Unless you know something we don't. Like people are sleeping out under the stars? Now at 62,000 HOMES, Condos, or what ever else your deeming as shelter for residents that brings in $93 million dollars which is about 21% more than your operating budget now! Looking at the 2010 census figures which showed an increase from 2000 it far from tells the whole story. A fool can see the city is still lower in residents in 2006 before the bust which began officially in Dec. 2006. Where are all the revenues from the bought foreclosures? Most I bet were bought as specs since so many are now rentals. Many should be non homestead thus greater tax. Where is the inflow from the V

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lightswitch

Apr-13-13 1:08 PM

contd. Veterans Clinic? Where are all the savings the police chief kept bringing to council meetings. How about the saving in CRA? Like so many other savings we have been told about NOT THERE! Why because they were either NEVER THERE or SPENT before they came in. Here is the reality the council you are sitting on now did not do its job. You did not do the job you voted to spend over the city's revenue! Period amen the end. We listened to you about your district needing roads. When You and the rest of the council (so called RAGS) told the then city manager Gary King who you fired for NO CAUSE) He came up with $6.5 million to immediately give your residents better roads. You even agreed that the amount was a good plan to begin a yearly program for that area. So the budget Szerlag which is truely his second left no money for the roads? Not even $100? I know of 2 homeowners/voters that are not voting for you. DONE.

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lightswitch

Apr-13-13 1:18 PM

I can't let this go. Kevin this Utility Tax had been talked about back in the day of Tim Day, Bertolini, and Tate. Anyone would have figured you would have talked to Lee County Electric, other people about their electric bills, about seasonality, about the fact the snowbirds are here when the bills are usually the lowest, the year rounders are hear in MAY, June, July, August and Sept. Even if you do not pay the bills and your wife does you could have checked with her. If you have them auto paid you could have at least gone back through your checkbook. To come to the meeting with a bill which is next to one of the lowest of the year we see you are really out of touch and we can only assume we get from you the same type of treatment when you sit down to legislate what effects the MAJORITY of the taxpayers. BLIGHT THIS!

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lightswitch

Apr-13-13 1:37 PM

The budget has not been balanced on the backs of the employees. It has been balanced on the backs of the homeowners who even have to subsidize the businesses in Cape Coral, Fl. The now former director Jacobsen stated to the people through the media 100 new businesses had opened in the CRA District. A HUNDRED! Where is the taxable revenue stream? How many have opened on Pine Island Rd the Gateway to Pine Island depending which way your going? Where is the revenue. One thing is sure, our now Director of Financial Services Mrs. Bateman and her fired for NO CAUSE boss found a way to reduce the cost of the road improvement to the city by was it $54 million? Where is the revenue from even the debt service? SPENT already in the current BUDGET submitted by Szerlag last Summer?

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lightswitch

Apr-13-13 1:53 PM

Why Detroit, Michigan has plenty of good paying jobs. Especially in its city government. What collapsed was its ability to employee the people that formerly worked in the private sector. Not just GM, Ford, or Chrysler. But the independent companies companies that provided the tax base to support the city. As we speak a receiver is cleaning up the top heavy city government cutting numbers, cutting wages, cutting benefits. When those service jobs are trimmed there will be a resurgence of private companies that come in to go along with the car manufacturing that is still there. Realize it is still there!

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lightswitch

Apr-13-13 4:46 PM

HaHaHa, Property taxes are not sustainable? Not in Stockton, Ca., Not in Belle, Ca, Not is Empire, Nv., Not in Pawtucket, R.I., Not in Central Falls, R.I.

Kevin, why are they in Naples, Fl., Collier County, Lee County, Sarasota< Fl, Punta Gorda, Fl. Northport, Fl. Bonita Springs, Fl. Troy, Michigan, and practically every other location north or south of the Mason Dixon line.? There are more municipalities that can get ti done than not. But they have heed better financial direction and spending restraint that Cape Coral, Fl. One last ? When Stewart and Mason resigned it was said it was because of the election of Sullivan. Who then are you blaming for the flight of your fire chief? Will he show up in Charlotte cty where they built $250k fire stations while we built $2.5 million stations? Where did you say the equipment money went?

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netransplant

Apr-13-13 7:41 PM

The first rule of investment is diversification. Gary King was fired for no cause to save the man of further embarrassment. The man was a liar to residents and insubordinate to certain councilmen. Lightswitch is one of the rags (bill and jan?) who continues to beat the same old dead lame horse. We are once again one community and the CM and council are righting the ship after the failed experiment with the "chance agent". Getting the city off of the ad valorem roller coaster will pay huge dividends far into the future for our grandchildren. Lets pull the plug on Lightswitch once and for all!

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netransplant

Apr-13-13 7:43 PM

Really? Red neck is obscene? You better notify all the crackers!

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rocco1

Apr-13-13 8:52 PM

I don't mind revenue diversification and increasing revenue to maintain and improve a certain level of service. The city still has many needs. But beofre asking for more money, the city should renegotiate the pension plans, which is really what is unsustainable. Bring in more revenue and the pressure is off on renegotiating.

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lightswitch

Apr-13-13 11:13 PM

There is not one of the so called RAGs I know outside the role of city council. But I like what they accomplished. I like what I have known for decades that Cape Coral, Fl. is nothing more than a company town. Sort of like a coal mine town.

Eventually the residents here with the upside down mortgages, low valued homes that will show them what a mess they invested in will again reinstate people that are going to spend with in the revenues the city has. Not gouging, not placing taxes that the state can't control. A tax to retrieve $20 million on homes. Give up $150 a home and it throws $94 million into the treasury. With that tax in place your at the mercy of LCEC and the crooked politicians. They can only bump the millage rate to 10.0 and we are at 9.475 now. So the only way they get more is to make charges not on millage rate but crank that utility tax to what ever the choose 10% 15% 20% of your electric bill. Do the math an convince yourself this won't happen. Don't fool yours

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lightswitch

Apr-13-13 11:24 PM

Gary was badgered by a drunk car used car salesman trying to save his kids job Which he was not in danger of losing. He was badgered by a dingbat cow patty who was a nut case on her best day. The council did do one thing wrong they should have made it mandatory that they made an appointment during business hours to meet with the city manager. King was no fool he showed this 40 year old city which is no baby the same as a 40 year old person is no child. Had many accounting flaws, managers who couldn't run an errand for a cup of coffee let alone be a manager or a director of a municipal department. These are facts not fiction they have been documented several times evenn by the state of Florida.

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lightswitch

Apr-13-13 11:31 PM

netransplant I will take your statement as a threat. However I am not going to get you kicked off the internet yet even though it is against the law.

You talk in that threat to me about a first rule of investment. Or are you suggesting the first rule of engagement?

The only plug you'll be pulling is on yourself. I think when you were transplanted it must have been roots up!

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CapeCoralCuestions

Apr-14-13 1:36 AM

lightswitch! are you running for office and using this forum as a platform? Sure seems like it!! If and when you get real and stop false information, you might be a winner. As it stands now---you are a has-been buffoon. Get another Dewars and water---your need it!

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CapeCoralCuestions

Apr-14-13 1:52 AM

liteswich__ a drunk care salesman? this from the drunk who grabbed a man's hat, ran headlong into the widget to dunk his friend the mayor in the drunk tank and whose wife had to drag him home with wet dirty pants? Let's get real here!

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