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‘Assessments’ a terrible way to tax

March 7, 2014

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....

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Mar-18-14 9:00 PM

Newton!: CC is 50 years old. If you don't want to joint in the development of this wonderful city--get our and get out NOW! The people here love this city--or not-- depending on their willingness to support their community or*****the life out of it. We cleasrly see which group you throw yourself into--go back up north to where you paid treble the taxes and froze your buns off. Go shovel snow and maybe you can remember why you came here. The lower taxes here are still 1/4 of what you paid elsewhere! Go--GO NOW--we don't want you here!

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Mar-11-14 2:32 PM

Hangingetc. Run for office. Give us your credentials and you may get my vote. Run or office, please....

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Mar-10-14 5:46 PM

Tax and Spend thats all we will get from these puppets

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Mar-10-14 12:29 AM

If you listened to the City Manager John Szerlag when he turned in the disaster of a budget he put together. What he told the city council at that meeting several months ago. He wanted $300 million in capital improvements. We know 1/3 of that amount $102 million has been BORROWED from the state of Florida as Revolving Funds. Now where do you think we are headed with all the new taxes and fees. Where do you think your water rates are going? Up. How do you put on 22 permanent utility workers with wages and benefits and not have it have a COST? Why do you think when the Road Ahead Gang took over they encountered $850 million and after less than 1-1/2 yr. the city is over $950 million and climbing tp the billion dollar level. I had a child state that is a good deal if you don't have to repay it. But we do and your taxes and trumped up fees will continue. I think of the meatballs that for years supported these slugs and now are beginning to see what was stated is more than true.

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Mar-09-14 7:00 PM

Raydunavent, grocery stores, restaurants etc. pass on the PST a lot quicker. You can only put off for so long buying groceries! Landlords have to wait until the lease comes up and have to watch the market for rentals. Right now there are a lot of rentals which would put the landlords in a very precarious position. Raise the rent and loose the tenant. Choices, choices, choices!

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Mar-09-14 6:09 PM

Lynn, confused as always. You say that stores will not absorb the PST, etc. Why do you think landlords will? Renters pay all of the landlord's costs plus profit, and get no benefit from Homestead exemption.

Finally, as to you not being impressed with this mayor and council, now you know how we felt about the RAGS and their vindictive phoney city manager. They lost, and so did groupies like you.

Go hold Sully's hand as the judge dope slaps him.

Also, what have you got against renters? Not everyone wants the "Joys" of home ownership.

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Mar-08-14 4:38 PM

Our City Manager needs to learn to work within the budget that was approved by Council and stop with all the assessments and PST.

There is already talk that the 7% is not bringing in the money he anticipated so look for a raise in the PST to come down the pike!

You not only pay that PST on your own electric bill you get charged at the grocery store etc. The stores, restaurants etc will not eat this 7% tax on their electric bill. That my friend is reserved for the residents to cough up!

So what they cannot get from your right pocket they get from your left pocket! Pretty soon all pockets will be empty then what will they do?

I am not impressed with this City Manager nor the Mayor and most on Council. The City Manager and the Mayor are renters and a Council member and will not feel the full effects of all the fees,assessments etc. that they so freely vote for!

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Mar-08-14 3:30 PM

We are truly blessed to have in our Daily Breeze community such critical thinkers. Only a troll would conclude, from a Leepa**** search, that Mr. Newton’s ownership (or not) of 35 vacant lots gives him a “free ride” from homeowners. Do the owner(s) of vacant lot(s) pay property taxes? Are the taxes to pay for city services? City services like fire protection? The solution to the equation is clear. City services are too large and outsized for the tax base. Bloated man power, equipment, pensions, and benefits requirements have created a monster that would rival most small third world countries. Vote with your feet, I’m in search of a greater fool as we speak.

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Mar-08-14 1:31 PM

Haninginthere, if you only knew how true your words are - we've gone from the frying pan into the fire, I fear.

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Mar-08-14 9:46 AM

I disagree that residential vacant lots get any benefit from firefighters, but I do think that these assessments do away with the inequities caused by SOH, and in that respect, they are a positive for Florida. But it needs to be accompanied by lowering the costs of providing these services. And that means a cut to the overly generous benefits for public safety employees.

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Mar-08-14 9:27 AM

Last year some vacant lots caught fire near us. The dry grass burned completely long before the CCFD boys had their pants on. Get real KT. The lot mowing service is of greater value to vacant lot owners than the CCFD.

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Mar-08-14 8:00 AM

It is unbelievable that is city this size can’t get competent council members and mayors. What a joke.

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Mar-07-14 6:33 PM

Some cities charge a fee for the fire dept. responding to traffic accidents. I am in favor of some user fees. I am not sure what the car insurance rates may look like if this happens. It could be a way to have visitors pay a share if they are using our services. The actual fire calls are a small percentage of the total calls made to the fire dept. Perhaps repeat calls to the same address could be charged a fee. I was at a local restaurant this a.m. when a man fell and bumped his head. 4 firemen and EMS responded. What did that little trip by a tourist cost the taxpayers?

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Mar-07-14 5:01 PM


Sort of. As I see it it makes this a lawful route for cities, rather than make them go through being sued by a bunch of ne'erdowells, like happened with the Fire assessment.

I am personally in favor or the Fire Assessment for the reasons Kirsten has stated. Brush fires on vacant land are paid for by others.

I do not know how many police calls are caused by vacant lots!

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Mar-07-14 4:25 PM

Ray, my mistake. I forgot to add the year to the search. What I said concerning it not being a local issue still stands. It is a state senate bill, not a Cape Coral ordinance. Thank you for pointing out my error.

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Mar-07-14 4:21 PM

Grump...I think you need to restudy the issue. SB884 (2013) that you refer to was last year, and died in committee.

2014 SB884 does authorize a special assessment, but requires a millage reduction as well. I do not understand the reasoning.

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Mar-07-14 3:35 PM

Vote no on SB 884: Special Assessment for Law Enforcement Services. - Someone needs to do a little research as I just did. SB84 has absolutely nothing to do with any assessment for law enforcement. It concerns the Salute to Veterans license plate fees and their distribution. Also, it is Florida Senate bill, not something local that the writer would lead you to believe.

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Mar-07-14 3:29 PM

I'm trying to figure out where a special assessment for the police came from. I have neither read about nor heard about any police assessment being considered by Council. It's possible that it may have come up while I was away for a week, but I doubt it.

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Mar-07-14 2:06 PM

Mr. Newton, you wouldn't by any chance be the owner of 35 vacant lots in Cape Coral, would you? The one who lives in Ft. Myers and wants the homeowners of Cape Coral to pay for fire service on your vacant land? I understand this assessment is going to dig pretty deep into your pocket but as a property investor, your interest in this is personal rather than what is best for Cape Coral, which is spreading the cost to ALL instead of homeowners paying your share.

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Mar-07-14 1:58 PM

"...dirt doesn't burn very well...vacant land uses no city services such as fire and police".

And that dirt is covered with untended grass, weeds, brush and trees that do burn. Vacant land is more likely to be the source of a grass or brush fire that, if not receiving fire services, can quickly spread and threaten homes. Come fire season, almost all brush fires will start on vacant lands. So why shouldn't owners of vacant land be included in this assessment?

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