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Today's Letters: Snowbirds not getting fair shake
By LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published January 16, 2008
Why doesn't the Florida Legislature like me? I assist the economy. I help subsidize the government. I pay a 7 percent sales tax on everything I buy including clothes, meals, gas and even newspapers. I eat in restaurants every day and help the waiters and waitresses with tips and with jobs. I only use public facilities, including highways, six months a year and yet the Florida Legislature is proving once again that it doesn't like me. I am a senior citizen and don't have any children to overcrowd public schools. But I am a snowbird. Is this why?
The Florida Legislature intends to increase the already unfair homestead tax exemption from $25,000 to $50,000. This means that my neighbors will not pay any tax on $50,000 of the first $75,000 worth of appraised value on their homes, but I will. What is the rationalization and justification for this penalty on seasonal residents? Shouldn't everyone be treated the same without discrimination?
Is it because the Legislature simply doesn't like snowbirds or is it because I can't vote? That would be selfish and cowardly. I certainly don't want to accuse the Legislature of selfishness and cowardice, but what is the reason? What do you think?
Thomas D. Dolan, New Port Richey
Insurance rates should go down
Thank you for the opinion columns that gave me more insight into Amendment 1.
I must say letting homeowners have the portability of Save Our Homes and an increase in the homestead exemption of $25,000 is a great idea. I am in the unable-to-move mode now. Not only will this help the real estate market get moving again, but it takes the burden off the older population so they have an option to sell or stay in their homes.
I have always been a firm believer in taking care of our elderly population and can tell you that one gets there quicker than you think.
But just as important is the insurance scam the insurance companies put on us and a do-nothing-about-it Legislature. This issue seems to have died and gone to heaven in Tallahassee.
No hurricanes in two years should have required a significant drop in the insurance rates here in Florida unless the money saved is going into someone's pocket.
Robert J. Clark, Port Richey
No door-to-door sales at night
This is to the attention of someone in businesses who sends people out door to door with sales offers.
In this day and age, it isn't going to get you very far.
Second, end it at a decent time of day. Let's say daylight would be a great start. Most important I do believe our Sheriff's Office has better things to do than to go out to homes on a busy night to check out concerns of citizens and people knocking on doors at 8 o'clock at night.
This has happened to me twice in a two-week span and one actually was from a very well-known company located in most of the lower Southern states. And, yes, I called 911 to have them checked out and no way did I open my door.
If citizens are reading this, please do the same and maybe we can stop this before someone gets hurt.
Jamie VanBeek, Holiday
Slow movers, stay in right-hand lane
Well, here we are again - the winter season and our highway system is jammed up. I have a proposal that I believe would clean things up and make our highways operate much more efficiently.
It is a four-step process: Observe, analyze, form a conclusion and act on it.
-Observe: Look out your windshield to see if the nearest car to you is far away; look out of your right-hand window to see if cars are passing you on that side; look in your rearview mirror to see if there is a long line of traffic behind you.
-Analyze: Process the information to see where it will lead you.
-Form a conclusion: For instance, "Gee, maybe I should move over."
-Take action: Move over.
I believe this simple process will go a long way toward smoothing the traffic flow on our highways, and may even have a positive effect on that thing called road rage.
Ray Kelly, Spring Hill
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