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Appraisal of ‘tax & spend’

April 3, 2014
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

To the editor:

On March 18my wife and I received a letter from the 'illustrious' city manager of Cape Coral, John Szerlag, together with a bill for this year's fire assessment tax. I was truly surprised to receive this bill. Its been reported in the news media as being examined by our court system for its legality/legitimacy. I guess we will both go to debtors prison as we have absolutely no intention of paying it.

This letter went to great length to attempt to justify the fire tax assessment and contained a veiled threat to become a higher tax, in the event this current scheme does not work. The news media recently reported this tax will be primarily used to repair/repave Cape Coral streets. What, pray tell, does a fire assessment tax have to do with street repair?

This tax emits the same putrid aroma as the act of our "illustrious" city hall leaders' purchase of 652 acres of real estate for $13.8 million. Both do not pass the smell test. They spent money from the sewer fund to remove 652 acres from the city's tax rolls. How stupid was that act? How legal was it???

We have city leaders that stay awake nights scheming and dreaming more and new ways to "tax & spend" us into poverty. They appear to be duplicating the mismanagement of taxpayers' funds similar to the U.S. Congress and the White House. The U.S. national debt has been increasing at the rate of $58,000 per second, 24/7/365!!! For several years. This is also brainless and irresponsible.

The letter from John Szerlag also mentioned the fire assessment tax is part of a partnership between the city and the community. Mr. Szerlag, neither me nor my wife ever, nor will we ever, sign off on a tax & spend partnership. You thanked me for my continued support. Another incorrect assumption. We will NEVER support the proponents of a tax & spend philosophy. NEVER!!! EVER!!!

In the spring of 2013, we received a notice of the proposed 2013 Real Estate taxes. That notice reflected no increase from 2012 taxes. Lo and behold, when the 2013 Real Estate tax bill arrived, it was $210 higher than the preliminary estimate. More tax and more spend! More lies.

It appeared to be a worthwhile thought to research and review Mr. Szerlag's employment history and credentials. This is his second excursion to Florida as a city manager. He spent a short time as a city manager of Sunny Isles Beach, Fla. They appear to have shipped him back to Troy, Mich., with his "Michigan mentality" intact. Three months prior to his signing a contract of employment with Cape Coral, the mayor of Troy, Mich., Janice Daniels stated: "she has no confidence in our city manager's ability to continue to perform the duties granted to him in this position." Sounds like he was given the boot, to me.

Cape Coral residents should also be appraised of fact he signed a three-year contract with the city for a base salary of $160,000 per year with $18,000 in allowances for car, medical, and housing according to Fox 4 news on April 2, 2012.

Listen up, folks, The base salary for all members of the US House of Rep. and the Senate is $174,000 per year. A mere $14,000 more than our city manager, John Szerlag. Does this sound appropriate? Not to me.

In the event a group of concerned citizens of Cape Coral decide they have had enough tax & spend and questionable real estate deals by city hall, you should definitely consider my full support petitioning and tossing the entire aggregation of buffoons out of city hall. We need change and soon or we will be living in a city with "streets lined with gold." Taxpayers' gold. Their attitude is: "If it moves, tax it. If it continues to move, tax it once again - more."

Take a few minutes to examine a few examples of tax & spend history, In 1776 we fought the Revolutionary War against taxes without representation and won our independence. A mere ten years later, against our newly formed government, the Shay's Rebellion of New England farmers revolted against property taxes happened. Not to be dissuaded, in 1791, a mere five more years later, the Whiskey Rebellion against liquor taxes took place.

During the French Revolution in 1789, each and every tax collector was rounded up and all were summarily decapitated. In spite of the aforementioned resistance to tax & spend, there are still those who maintain an operating philosophy of good old tax & spend. It is part of the philosophy of Karl Marx's Communist manifesto regarding wealth redistribution and government controls.

Old Karl is alive and well, even today.

Robert E. Workman

Cape Coral



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