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Today's Letters: Great family living in that 'huge house'
By LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published July 19, 2007
Re: Huge house, big fear July 15, story
Great effort was taken to write the article. Hours were spent interviewing prospective neighbors, reviewing county records, researching historical documents and acquiring an aerial photograph I applaud staff writer Dan DeWitt's attempt to objectively display the reaction of the Aripeka community with the arrival of a "huge house."
My objection lies in that I wish equal effort was taken to highlight the quality of family that will be residing in the "huge house." I am taking a few minutes to compose this letter to inform the residents of Aripeka that the Napolitano family will be wonderful neighbors.
Peter Napolitano is the son of a retired police officer who instilled in his son the principles of honesty and generosity. A focused work ethic developed in Peter's youth, enabled him to finish his college education, earning degrees in both pharmacy and law. The successes of his professional career coupled with a wonderfully supportive family have enabled the Napolitano family to build their dream home in our community.
In a depressed building industry I commend the Napolitano family for the countless jobs they created by designing the "huge house." I commend them for the countless building supplies they purchased and for the countless home furnishings they will purchase. We should be grateful that the Napolitano family has elected to use their good fortune to help stimulate our economy. But more importantly we should be grateful to have the Napolitano family as neighbors.
I encourage the residents of Aripeka to open their doors to their new neighbors. They will be delightfully surprised to find four well-behaved young adults with two caring parents, and two very proud grandparents. Bring them over a plate of cookies, a fresh catch or some home-grown vegetables and you'll not be disappointed.
James G. DeLuca, DMD, Spring Hill
Re: Support troops with kind acts July 17, letter
What a show of troop support
What a beautiful thought Tony and Anne Cuomo acted upon when they saw a young soldier eating alone at Tampa International Airport and asked if they could pay for his dinner. It brought tears to my eyes.
Many of us continue on our merry way and take for granted what all the military has done and is doing for us. Each time I read or hear about one of our military members giving up their life, I have a special prayer I say for them. We all should keep them in our thoughts and prayers and pray that they return home soon.
I am thankful I belong to the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. All Elks lodges throughout the United States support our military in one way or the other, as I am sure many other organizations do. But it is up to all Americans to never forget the supreme sacrifices the military gives for us. Let all of us unite in helping any way we can to support all the wonderful military and our veterans.
Again, Mr. and Mrs. Cuomo, thank you.
Mary Ann Steffes, Spring Hill
Re: Let's look at billions in property tax exemptions July 15, column
Raise homestead exemption yearly
It seems Jeff Webb has finally jumped off the fence and clearly has become a voice of government. To justify and candy-coat Hernando County government's abusive taxing of the common man certainly joins the bias group of political media writers and reporters.
The facts are that the County Commission has raised tax revenues 102 percent over five years. It was told to roll back taxes 9 percent. It immediately began searching for ways to defy that rollback and, through accounting manipulation was granted only a 7 percent rollback by the state. Instead of looking at cost-cutting ideas the county became concerned with preservation of revenue first. Sounds like its priorities are backward.
It is true that tax exemptions are mandated by state and federal laws, and for good reasons. These mandates are for nonprofit organizations providing public and religious services. I truly hope you are not proposing to tax these organizations. Speaking of nonprofit, I thought government for the people was a nonprofit entity. Can the county explain its tens of millions of dollars sitting in reserve accounts. That sounds like profits to me -the people's money.
A while back I sent the Times a letter in response to Sonny Vergara's letter, which criticized Linda Heyward's response to House Speaker Marco Rubio's tax talk. I cited various statistics obtained from Property Appraiser Alvin Mazourek's Web site, hernandocounty.us/pa/, yet you didn't publish my letter.
I do understand that the chart prepared had too many statistics to verify. Still they were factual and presented in a way that people could make up their own minds about this tax situation. For example, the population of Hernando County increased 30,348 from 2001 to 2006, a 22 percent increase. Taxable property values went up 110 percent over the same period, and the cost per resident based on county expenses went up 45 percent. Where are all the excess revenues going?
Webb's column reeks with political sway. If you add county taxes for the general fund, transportation trust fund, stormwater management, sensitive lands and water management, the millage rate is 8.97 percent. The burden for taxes should be carried according to ability to pay the tax.
Anyone who is an investor in a business for profit, or appreciation of asset values, should pay taxes in accordance with their profits or asset appreciations. Why should the common homeowner share in the risks of the business owners' investments? They certainly do not share in the profits. According to the cited statistics, homeowners in Hernando County have carried the burden of taxes for the past 5 years.
Webb suggested in a June 10 column that instead of just complaining we should make specific suggestions for the resolution of this tax problem. My suggestion would be as follows: maintain the current system of taxation except for one thing; each year increase the homestead exemption $5,000 per year until the maximum homestead exemption of $75,000 is reached. This would give tax relief to long-term homeowners and provide government the opportunity to streamline its budget over a longer period of time.
Vito J. Delgorio Sr., Spring Hill
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