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Today's Letters: Amendment 1 is worthless
Letters to the Editor
Published January 27, 2008
I encourage every voter to read Amendment 1 concerning property taxes on the Tuesday ballot. This amendment reads as if a kindergarten class wrote it. It really does nothing to address the actual property tax problem. The "doubling" of the homestead exemption is an absolute falsehood.
Part of the tax is exempted, so the true net will be less than doubled to $50,000. The way I read it, the amendment helps the rich and ignores lower-income people because the extra $25,000 applies to the value from $50,000 to $75,000, not from a contiguous amount starting at $1.
The reality is, our elected officials wasted our money last year on stupid resolutions while raking in additional money during "special sessions," then delivering this last-minute garbage.
We need to tell our employees to get it right, or we need to send a different group to Tallahassee that can.
Richard Ross, Brooksville
Re: Legislators tell residents that funding will be tight, Jan. 19 story
Senators come up short on solutions
After watching the legislative delegation meeting at the Hernando County government center on Jan. 18, I would like to make this comment in response to Sen. Mike Fasano's answer to County Commission candidate Wayne Dukes' comment that the Senate receives a failing grade for not accomplishing meaningful tax relief.
The senator's answer was: "It's hard to agree what time it is, no less get a supermajority vote on tax relief." I think he proved Dukes' concerns. The Senate is incapable of drafting a proposal for a fair and meaningful tax package. I think Fasano should realize that, after working diligently for insurance reform with partial success.
The Senate's parochial vision of tax relief proves it is impotent in solving problems that concern all of Florida's residents, especially during a time of economic despair. Florida needed and deserved a nonpartisan fix of the taxation problem to jump-start the economy, and what did senators do? Drafted an amendment that will have a minimal effect on the economy and perpetuated the inequities of the tax code.
Kudos to the Florida House of Representatives, which got it right, and shame on the Senate.
Vote "no" on Amendment 1 and tell them to go back and get it right this time, while the Budget and Reform Committee is still in session.
Andrew Ingoglia, Brooksville
Re: Amendment 1 is driven by greed, Jan. 22 letter
Seniors have paid their dues
Mr. Lang, after you work and pay taxes for 50 years, serve your country in the military for a few years, and raise and support a family, you will have changed your mind about seniors' being greedy. We only want what we have earned.
If you do the same and are lucky, your turn will come.
In his opening statements, Realtor Armstrong states that our property tax system is broken and must be fixed. On this point most people, including myself, fully agree.
He goes on to say that although Amendment 1 only scratches the surface of our tax problems, it beats waiting for a better proposal. On this latter point, I thoroughly disagree.
Let's be frank. The major argument against this proposal is not about receiving a meager tax cut (about $20 a month); it's about continuing to foster the creation of two classes of homeowners: those who annually receive extensive tax savings and those who receive little or no savings.
I thought America prided itself on the fact that we treat citizens equally. Obviously, this creation of two classes of homeowners violates the very essence of fairness.
Amendment 1 will only expand taxpayer inequality in Florida. Portability is not the answer; it will only compound a flawed system.
Yes, I and other homeowners want tax relief, but I cannot, in good conscience, condone the idea of expanding a taxpayer "class" system for Florida homeowners. We need to vote "no." The rejection of this weak constitutional proposal will send a strong message to our lawmakers that we are not happy, and for them to come up with a better plan. Now that we finally have the full attention of our legislators, it is not the time for us to settle for anything less than we deserve.
Tom Woods, Brooksville
A $2,000 rise in insurance not fair
Twenty years ago, I moved back with my parents in Spring Hill as my father had Alzheimer's and my mother a heart condition. They added my name to their home deed. My father died in 1992. My mother died in 2007, also from Alzheimer's.
Upon informing the tax office, I was told the property tax of $886 would now be $2,700 due to my being married and because we have a mobile home in another Florida county. My husband lives there 365 days and I live here 365 days. I vote here and all identification is here.
It may be in the eye of the beholder, Gov. Crist, but this is not fair. This, on top of nearly $2,500 in property insurance this year. How could a $2,000 tax increase in one year be fair?
I just hope I will not be another Florida casualty who has to lose her home or move to another state to be able to afford to live.
Do what is right for all Floridians, not a select group. Scrap Amendment 1 and put something together that will help all of us, something that is really fair.