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Last chance for input on budgets

September 13, 2013
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Cape Coral taxpayers will have a final chance to express their opinions on the City of Cape Coral and Lee County budget proposals next week.

The county will hold its final budget hearing on Wednesday, the city on Thursday.

Each contains some measures that have drawn a fair amount of controversy but have perked forward nonetheless.

While Lee County has addressed some of its bus routes cuts, one of which would have severely impacted Pine Island riders, the bid to raid 20/20 Conservation funds approved by the voters specifically for the purchase of environmentally sensitive lands remains in the proposal to be voted on Sept. 18.

The county administration proposes to reallocate an estimated $26 million to help make up a shortfall in the general fund for county operations.

Numerous environmental and tax watch groups are crying foul, saying the proposal is an egregious violation of the public trust.

We agree.

And we urge taxpayers not to let this one fly beneath the general interest radar.

Unless, of course, you believe "emergency measures" and employee pay raises have a place in the same budget.

Or that a one-year raid won't become a go-to source in the years to come.

Meanwhile, here in the Cape, the city is, indeed, in a budget hard place.

We agree it's time to get capital improvement projects back on the table.

For various reasons, through, the road to get there has been as bumpy as the unpaved streets in the north Cape as the city has added new taxes, adjusted and re-adjusted the amounts, and then, as promised, bumped back, just a bit, the property tax rate.

If you still have questions, if you still need clarification, if you still have input on the tax plan or where the money will be used, Thursday will be your last chance to ask.

We urge Cape property owners to take advantage of this opportunity as well, if only to get information.

The county budget hearing will be held in the Board of County Commissioner's Chambers, 2120 Main St. in Fort Myers

The city of Cape Coral budget hearing will be held in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 1015 Cultural Park Blvd.

Both meetings will begin at 5 p.m.

- Breeze editorial



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