FlaglerLive | August 13, 2012
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office produced a 17-page analysis of the budget Congressman Paul Ryan submitted in 2012. The full analysis is presented.
FlaglerLive | August 29, 2012
With the Palm Coast City Council’s refusal to raise property taxes , the city’s infrastructure will continue to deteriorate, Mayor Jon Netts and the city administration warned. But a majority of council members, led by Frank Meeker–who’s running for a county commission seat–refused to budge.
FlaglerLive | August 3, 2012
Andy Dance, the school board member, explains why your vote approving the renewal of the half-penny sales tax in the Aug. 14 referendum is critical for Flagler County schools. All registered voters may cast a ballot regardless of party affiliation.
FlaglerLive | July 31, 2012
The Flagler County Commission decided not to put out a half-cent sales tax renewal to voters this year, choosing instead to renew the tax by a vote of the commission by November. The decision ensures that the tax will stay on the books, generating $4 million for the county and the cities.
FlaglerLive | July 26, 2012
“Bankruptcy” and “exciting news” don’t usually go together well in the same conversation. But a recent ruling by a federal court is giving Florida homeowners a window of opportunity to strip off a second mortgage, argues consumer attorney Lewis Roberts.
FlaglerLive | July 18, 2012
A report in the papers this morning that the Flagler school district was facing an additional $3.8 million cut (or 4 percent of its budget) was premature. The state is cutting the local school tax and its revenue, but making up all the difference except $400,000, which the district has already plugged.
FlaglerLive | July 16, 2012
A Tallahassee judge has sided with online travel companies like Expedia and Orbitz in a dispute over local tax obligations — a blow to counties, including Flagler, that have argued the companies weren’t paying enough.
FlaglerLive | July 9, 2012
The Flagler County Commission agreed in principle to raise the property tax 12 percent and use a combination of reserves and other one-time dollars to close what, going into the budget season, had been a gaping deficit provoked by new expenses, accounting issues and falling property values.
FlaglerLive | June 11, 2012
The deficit was reduced to $3.65 million once commissioners agreed to use reserves and include a $1 million cut in the sheriff’s budget, but their debates got more heated on what services to eliminate or reduce, and what taxes to raise–or what new taxes could be imposed.
FlaglerLive | June 8, 2012
County Commission Chairman Barbara Revels called the emergency meeting “ridiculous,” School Board member Colleen Conklin called it “nonsense,” but neither commission nor school board felt it had a choice but to comply with Supervisor of Elections Kimberle Weeks’s demand that meeting be held.
FlaglerLive | June 5, 2012
The campaign to force the council to reverse course was brutally effective against a council that appeared willing to ignore its own history and a year and a half of its administration’s work on the matter.
FlaglerLive | June 4, 2012
The much larger-than-expected deficit, which forced the abrupt cancellation of a budget workshop, raises questions of accountability just months before four of the county commissioners face elections either to hold on to their seats or seek a higher office.
FlaglerLive | May 15, 2012
To little opposition, the council voted unanimously to add a 6 percent tax on electric utility bills, adding, on average, $6.27 a month to monthly residential utility bills. The council defeated a proposal to add a second tax that would have raised an equal amount.
FlaglerLive | May 14, 2012
Palm Coast wants to keep the split of the half-cent sales tax revenue what it is today. Flagler County wants to change the formula, which would decrease Palm Coast’s share by $500,000. The disagreement is jeopardizing a unified approach on a sales tax referendum both sides say is critical to their revenue needs.
FlaglerLive | May 8, 2012
For residents, the so-called “utility franchise fee” and “public service tax” on electric bills would almost replace the $8-a-month stormwater fee that appears on water bills. The city would likely raise property taxes, too, to generate $7.5 million a year to repair its crumbling infrastructure.
FlaglerLive | April 24, 2012
The Flagler County School Board didn’t want its initiative lost in the clutter of the November ballot, or see it compete against the county’s and cities’ similar initiative, but primary turnout will be heavily Republican–an unhappy prospect for any tax initiative.
FlaglerLive | April 24, 2012
Leon County Circuit Judge James Shelfer ruled in favor of the industry last week, going against Flagler and 16 other counties that argue they have lost out on millions of dollars in tourist-development taxes.
FlaglerLive | April 20, 2012
Tom Lawrence, the ardent anti-tax tea party chairman, was the champion of the sales tax Palm Coast lobbied for 10 years ago. He urged the Flagler tea party membership to support the tax again at the polls this year, boosting county government’s arguments for the tax, which Palm Coast so far has not embraced enthusiastically.
FlaglerLive | April 10, 2012
Palm Coast and the county disagree over how to split $4 million in annual revenue from the a half-cent sales surtax. The county wants more than it’s been getting. A joint meeting Tuesday produced good will but no breakthrough.
FlaglerLive | April 9, 2012
The Flagler County Commission got its first budget overview of the year Monday, ahead of six months of discussions, debates and battles over budget priorities in the midst of an election year with its own unpredictable variables.
FlaglerLive | April 3, 2012
The two local governments are far apart over how to split revenue from a sales tax surcharge voters would have to approve this November, causing Palm Coast to think of dumping the sales tax–and the county to panic–as the two head for a joint meeting next week.
FlaglerLive | March 28, 2012
While supporters insisted that the legislation signed Wednesday will help provide a better business climate, they were quick to say that a variety of factors were at work in the economy, and it would be difficult to accurately figure out how many jobs the measures might create.
FlaglerLive | March 27, 2012
The Palm Coast City Council is exploring dropping a half-cent sales tax surcharge it’s been levying with the county for 10 years, and adopting instead new utility taxes without need for voter approval or splitting revenue with the county.
FlaglerLive | February 28, 2012
Nancy Nally, a Flagler County-based web publisher, argues that Florida’s proposed law to compel internet merchants to pay sales taxes won’t level the playing field or increase revenue, but hurt local businesses like her own.
FlaglerLive | February 16, 2012
Gov. Rick Scott called the corporate tax break “a huge victory” for Floridians that would help businesses create more jobs, though there is little evidence that such tax breaks spur job creation, and some evidence that the tax breaks are closer to corporate welfare.
FlaglerLive | January 30, 2012
Flagler County Property Appraiser’s preliminary estimate sees a property value drop in “the low single-digits” at most, with taxable values rising in Grand Haven and Flagler Beach, among other spots, as the five-year collapse in values appears to draw to an end.
Pierre Tristam | January 23, 2012
Internet cafés may be a pest, and their proponents make laughable arguments when they claim they’re not about gambling. But it’s not government’s business to ban them while swinging from the lottery’s levers. Regulation is the key.
FlaglerLive | January 19, 2012
Disney is asking the state for an array of tax breaks that could cost Floridians as much as $100 million over 20 years. International Speedway Corp., owner of Daytona International Speedway, is in on the deal.
FlaglerLive | January 13, 2012
The review affects such “community redevelopment agencies” such as Palm Coast’s Town Center. Special taxing districts generate $15 billion in revenue annually. Oversight can be more lax than for more general government revenues.
FlaglerLive | December 19, 2011
South Florida’s Jim Waldman, a Democrat from Coconut Creek, wants to roll back unpopular driver’s license and registration fees, paying for it with a $1 increase in Florida’s cigarette tax, now at $1.34.