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‘Assessments’ a terrible way to tax

March 7, 2014
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

To the editor:

An annual Fire Assessment was recently passed by the City of Cape Coral. This new tax, (I mean assessment), pertains not only to improved real estate but also to vacant land. As I'm sure you are aware, dirt doesn't burn very well. Unfortunately the Cape Coral City council is unaware of this fact.

This is bad law for several other reasons as well however; 1) vacant land uses no city services such as fire and police, 2) vacant land does not require any new schools to be built, 3) there is no ceiling on this new tax or is there a sunset clause in it, 4) it more than doubles the add valorem taxes on most of the vacant lots in Cape Coral, and 5) it does an end run around the will of the people who voted in a law in the 2008 election that would limit the amount that ad valorem taxes could be raised each year on non homesteaded property.

The ink isn't even dry on this new Fire Assessment tax and now the politicians are at it again. Another assessment, this time for the police department, with no ceiling and no sunset clause and most likely on all real estate both improved and unimproved even though vacant lots will receive no benefit from this tax. Who's next, the Humane Society, the trash collectors, street lights, sidewalks, streets, etc. etc., etc. and where does it stop? It's just another tax on the property owner piled on top of all the other taxes, I mean assessments. In Cape Coral the three non ad valorem assessments already triple the ad valorem property taxes on a large number of lots.

I just arrived in this state seven years ago but have started looking for the exits ever since Cape Coral passed the Fire Assessment. This new TAX will push me over the edge. I will sell my real estate and leave this anti-business, anti-investment, anti-success, high-tax state where I can't even get my home insured by a national insurance company. The many negatives of Florida just keep coming and continue to bury the few positives.

Vote no on SB 884: Special Assessment for Law Enforcement Services.

Michael Newton

Cape Coral



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