Today's Letters: Let's hold golf courses to task
By LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published March 7, 2007
Re: A drop in drips, March 5 picture story:
The article suggests how we can all reduce our water usage and maybe save 30 gallons a day. A few weeks ago the Southwest Florida Water Management District acknowledged that many golf courses exceeded their water allotments. This was explained that since golf courses were a business and needed the water to stay in business, officials would look the other way.
I enjoy both golf and living in Hernando County, where we have a lot of very nice courses. But if we need to plan for restricted water usage, isn't it time to include businesses, too? Recent advancements have developed computerized irrigation systems that can control each individual head in a golf course watering system. Of course, these would be costly to install and all of us playing golf would feel some impact, but I don't think the authorities should be looking the other way when there alternatives.
The current restrictions are only the beginning of a long-term serious problem for Hernando County. I encourage our elected officials to plan for the future by mandating a phased approach in the installation of these more efficient systems.
Why should house and apartment dwellers be the only ones encouraged to save water?
Ralph Bauer, Spring Hill
All for a state income tax
Lawmakers are suggesting that our property taxes and homestead exemption should be eliminated. This could be done by limiting government spending. (I trust this also would mean the pork barrel projects each lawmaker has.)
Our sales tax would have to be increased by 2.5 percent, meaning that the state of Florida would have the highest sales tax in the country. Isn't this wonderful? This increased sales tax will be a hardship on low- and middle-class working citizens. Retired residents also would be hit hard as they live on fixed incomes.
From day one, property owners always paid tax on their property. Nonowners never paid a property tax. I don't think there is a state in the country that has such a tax structure as our lawmakers are suggesting. It seems our lawmakers want to change all this and have all residents, whether property owners or not, pay tax.
This is not the answer to our property tax problem. The formula we use to calculate our property tax figures must be updated. This would solve the problem. Increasing our sales tax will not.
Where are local governments going to get the dollars to pay their operating expenses such, as police, fire, parks and libraries? Is the state going to give counties and cities the dollars? What will happen if the state doesn't give them enough to pay their operating expenses? Will the counties and cities set up a tax-and-fee system to collect from its citizens?
Most states have an income tax in place. Florida doesn't. A state income tax would be good for Florida. It would get dollars it needs to help the citizens of the state. I'm sure our lawmakers, lobbyists and citizens with six-figure earnings would not go for it, as it would mean they would have to pay taxes. The tax would not be felt by the lower- and middle- working-class citizens, as most of them would receive a tax refund.
Frank DeAngelo, Hudson
Seeking balance for Hickory Hill
I am Steve Melton and I have been in the Spring Lake area all of my life and presently live off Lockhart Road. I will be affected by the Hickory Hill development. Change is coming one way or another. It will be an area of 280 "minor ranches" with 280 houses, barns, wells and septic tanks, or an upscale community. I choose the latter.
Who will pay to upgrade the Lockhart, Hickory Hill, Baseball Pond and White roads if Hickory Hill is divided up 280 times? The planned community would have a couple of limited access roads, which they would improve themselves. The proposed buffer zones and large continuous open areas of the proposed Hickory Hill development are more pleasing to me than being subdivided with fences every 10 acres. Hickory Hill would provide a smooth transition from the high intensity of the interstate area to the more rural Spring Lake area.
The type of resident who would invest in the Hickory Hill community also would help economically on this side of the county. As far as I know, this is the only type of development of its kind east of Brooksville. Why can't we have some balance for our side of the county?
Steve Melton, Dade City
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[Last modified March 6, 2007, 20:00:21]
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