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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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Apr-20-13 5:13 PM

Tax and spend is all they know. This city is dying because through out its history They (city counsel and special interest groups) have been mis-managing the funds. And think they can continue to get fat on the property owners,-it is not going to happen. There needs to be radical change and austerity to bring this community in to the 21st century. There are not enough retirees and won't be to sustain this madness. Boomers are not going to flock to Cape Coral FL, there is nothing here to attract them. End of story

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Apr-16-13 6:40 PM

McClain was funny at Monday's meeting. His statement. "I knew right away the 10% would bring in more revenue than $150 a home." If that were so why not bring it up before Mc Grail went home to look and brings in a single bill for last month when most homes were not using air conditioning? These are the morons trying to figure out if a budget is or is not viable? Their thought MORE IS BETTER THAN LESS OR EVEN WHAT IS NECESSARY! I have no confidence in most of this city Administration. Even the City Manager John Szerlag has covered his backside at practically every meeting. "I can give you what ever you tell me to give you. A balanced budget with cuts or an unbalanced budget with no cuts. "What ever the council tells me to do."

By the way you know the UEP project McGrail said would cost $105 million and the rate payers wouldn't pay for it. Guess where the $105 million is coming from? Not the businesses I bet, not the undeveloped lot owners. The rate payers who

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Apr-16-13 6:23 PM

Sandy1 why are you renting your home to just cover your overhead? You said on another post you sold, but now I guess the deal fell through?

I guess I feel more than ever if the city has to charge all the extra taxes and fees and still can not make ends meet it is an invalid municipality. You on the other hand feel it should continue stumbling down the wrong pathway until more home are sold with lost equity no matter what. I do want to ask you since you rent are you still claiming Homestead Exemption?

I found interesting figures in the 2010 Census. Cape Coral, Fl. Number of homes/condo visited over 80,000. RED FLAG: Number of persons average per home: .98. National average is 2.5. I wonder how many investment homes or second homes are Homesteaded illegally! A city would severely loose tax revenue to be paid by the smucks that play it straight. Do you agree with the 2010 census figures as you agree with the city administration figues. Yes or No?

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Apr-16-13 8:27 AM

@lightswitch: It boils down to whether or not one believes that the City has cut all the waste it can. The administration says it has. Some say BS, some say they believe the administration....I believe that anymore cuts will impact quality of life and reduce property values. So, I'm a believer. You, not so much, but then again, you have a political agenda, I don't. Yes, I have moved away, but I keep in contact with friends, read newspapers and look for the local news articles on line and still have opinions that I will air from time to time. My house is currently being rented but I'll be back!

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Apr-15-13 3:05 PM

slovejoy,why don't you explain why you were looking at ALL the city owned fax machines,printer/copiers and,using a city employee,as a guide, none the less,on city time? McGrail has been a very great councilmember. the Facts speak for themselves ! charlie66,nettransplant and lightswitch, so you each condone the Fab5 plus King plans to Bankrupt our city. we were 6-9 months away from it..Shameful. Before calling anyone a LIAR,look in the mirror first.have a nice day

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Apr-15-13 11:40 AM

Capewaste...A simple call to the City would have shared the information with you concerning the "2" salaries you believed were paid for the two secretaries. By the way, they are not "secretaries", one is the Official City Clerk and the other is the Assistant to the Clerk. they are not paid overtime, etc. They get the same weekly salary whether they work 5 days ten days, etc. No extra pay. Next time, please get the facts first and then attack (share) your information.

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Apr-15-13 11:04 AM

Sandt1 all kidding aside. What is a flat tax going to mean if spending restraint is not tied to a flat tax?

It would only first of all satisfy an immediate need that the city of Cape Coral, Fl. is in the terms of the Retail business OVER BOUGHT.

The next year the city would be in the same situation but worse. Why no restraint in spending.

The present system is working throughout the United States except in those communities where restraint was and in some still was cast to the wind.

The commonsense rules for governing a community have not changed. The mentality by those running those community has changed. Thus they want to change the rules. Change for the sake of the (in this city's case,) 1% or will not work because the demands are too great for 1% who are employees of the city.

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Apr-14-13 7:23 PM

While I agree that the City may not be able to sustain itself on property revenue alone, I personally see so much waste within the City. Why are there two clerks at every council meeting? All the other committees and boaads only have one. Other cities I have lived in only have one on the dais or next to it. Seems that we are paying two salaries for owrk only one person shoudl be able to do. Just an observation....

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Apr-14-13 2:59 PM

I watched and listened to the presentation concerning these new taxes that Council, and especially McGrail want. Barton and Associates figures couldn't have been more wrong. Who came up with this nutty figure of $150 per household? Who came up with this 10% utility tax? That tax alone will bring in a heck of a lot more than $150 a year. Someone thinks we are stupid lemmings that will go along with anything they try to bamboozle us with. That report with all the graphs was nothing but smoke and mirrors. Here is another thing about McGrail. He held an online Q&A. I read the transcript and there were a few questions asked that he skirted the answers of. Typical rich politician. He sure as heck isn't a true middle class person.

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Apr-14-13 12:19 PM

@SLovejoy: "Wong," "proof it," ??? Who does your proof reading at the printing company, you? Lovejoy says, "those thief’s are going to jail, as should some of our city management!" Name names you coward or stop the mud slinging!

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Apr-14-13 7:28 AM

The city is spending more money than it should and the Councilman is Wong. The facts are that we can reduce the size of the city and its budget and have better services then we have now. People when the council says they need more money ask them to proof it. These are the same people who wanted to invest in the swim center and those thief’s are going to jail, as should some of our city management!

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Apr-14-13 1:54 AM

liteswich---keep us the insane libel and you will find yourself in COURT! We watch and report as needed!

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Apr-13-13 7:43 PM

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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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