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Property Appraiser Gardner: Correcting the Record on School Taxes and the Referendum

| May 29, 2013

James 'Jay' Gardner Jr. (© FlaglerLive)

James ‘Jay’ Gardner Jr. (© FlaglerLive)

By James E. Gardner Jr.

As the Flagler County Property Appraiser, I felt that I needed to respond to some of the recent comments regarding the school district’s proposed half-mill tax vote. These comments lead you to believe that the schools have continually increased our taxes. Based upon factual information, this is simply not true.

Below is a chart comparing property tax revenue from the 2007 and 2012 tax years. The 2007 tax year was utilized as it was the year that the local tax roll “peaked.”

Flagler School's Property Tax Revenue, 2007-2012

2007 Tax Year

2012 Tax Year

Amount of Change
School Taxes Levied
Per Student Spending (*)
School Taxes (Avg. Palm Coast Home with Homestead)
(*) Based on locally collected taxes.

This year, there are projected to be fewer students than last year in Flagler County public schools, which means less money from the state regardless of whether they can eliminate a teacher or classroom, indicating a loss of $1.8 million. (It should be noted, however, that even with the recent decline in enrollment, there’s still more than 500 more students than there were in 2007). The quarter-mill levy expires in June, giving a reduction of $1.6 million and the federal sequester is reducing funding by approximately $1.5 million. The total reduction in funding will be $4.9 million. If we as citizens of our county approve the half-mill increase ($3.2 million), the shortage in revenue will be approximately $1.7 million.

This does not indicate that our school system is raising our overall taxes. Quite the contrary.

Many of the costly programs such as E-Books, FCAT, computers, Race to the Top, the class-size amendment and special need programs are mandated by the state and federal governments or by us, the voters.

The School Board has cut taxes and done an admirable job with less, as we would expect in these hard times.

Please look at the facts before you vote. I no longer have children in the Flagler County school system, but I will vote “Yes” to fund adequate education for our future generations. Our economic well being depends on it.

James Gardner Jr. has been the Flagler County Property Appraiser since 2005. Reach him by email here.

48 Responses for “Property Appraiser Gardner: Correcting the Record on School Taxes and the Referendum”

  1. gator says:

    I”m sorry but we all ready pay out are butts, if the kids were in school and not running the roads i’ll problie have a different view on it, but this home school crap , those kidds are running the road and the parents are no were to be found. now if those kidds were in school the school would get the money thay need. don’t you think , we pay out so much money ever year, land taxes , car tags went up,we have to have inssurance on are cars. home, are selfs,these people that works in court house are so rude, we pay them out of are taxes just for them to be rude and then thay get cut the road and bridge dept.i would pay more out to them to keep are roads driveable , than pay out to the schools, close some of them down, you talk aboout kidds on the bus longer, so when i went to school i was on it 45 min. to a hour one way.

    • Think About it says:

      Well put, my thoughs exactly….Where’s the parents? Home Schooling???You’re kidding me right? How can someone that knows little actually teach their kids…Give me a break….

      All that shines in NOT gold… Don’t make the school any richer thatn they already are… NO, period

    • sly says:

      Spot on Gator. Gator’s comment aptly proves that the money spent on education in this country does not really go towards educating our citizens, but towards redundant top heavy bureaucratic salaries which have little impact on education.

  2. Lisa smith says:

    Thanks for the great explanation! Vote yes!

  3. Ron Hubbard says:

    Mr. Gardner, you are an honorable man who does his job well. However, I will vote against any attempts to increase taxes.

    In all fairness and with respect to you, taxes have hugely escalated over the past 10 years. Yes, due to the obama recession, there has been a small drop in appraised valuations as real estate values plumeted. However, by taking a longitudinal view of rates, taxes have risen significantly for Flagler Country residents. Add in the massive increases in fees, registrations, use tax, doc stamps, licenses etc., and the tax and use “tax” load on residents is a heavy load and growing more onerous each year.

    The Flagler County resident is being squeezed mercilessly for every possible additional dollar. The quality of life experienced in this county is suffering. Government and school spending cannot increase and cuts must be fairly made. The taxpayer is not a bottomless treasure chest to be plundered.

    • tampanative says:

      Dear Mr. Hubbard,

      Why do you have to associate the recession only with the Obama administration? It was and is a world wide recession that impacted more places than just the United States. The recession started well before the Obama administration and will probably not be over before it ends, nor the end of the next president’s term.

      Vote how you must according to your own values, that is your privilege as an American to do so. However, where were you when the republican legislature of this great state of Florida passed the increases on fees, registration, use taxes, and licenses. You and many other sat idly by while they did so, and did not vote those men and women out. In the United States people like to blame every representative for bad decisions except the one they voted for, and will hang by that representative or senator through thick and thin.

      Education has been placed on an unfair footing the past few years with a drop in revenue, and an increase in unfunded mandates passed down by both the state and federal governments. You want to know what is wrong with public education, it is not the teachers, nor the students, it is politicians making decisions about education when they have no educational experience themselves.

  4. Ted says:

    Maybe James could show us a graph on how much revenue the city made this year as oppose to last year from the TRAFFIC CAMERA’S !!!!

  5. Stop says:


    In 2007 the amount of the national debt was $9,229,172,659,218 which equals to about $30,603 for every man, woman, and child in the entire United States. On December 31, 2012 that debt had increased to $16,432,730,050,569 or an astonishing $52,152 for every man, woman, and child ( Each and everyone one of us are $52,152.00 in debt…..Money that we owe and that we pay interest on everyday. Government spending is OUT OF CONTROL and our children are going to pay for our recklessness. When is enough going to be enough? I feel like we need to draw a line in the sand. We need to tell our elected officials that they have to learn to live within their means. Our children face more future challenges from reckless spending than they face from us not approving more money for government.

    Now I work for Flagler County. I would be fired for sure if my boss knew who I am. The truth is that Flagler County Government wastes soo much money that it really bothers me. Us employees are afraid to say to say anything at all because we will get fired. If I ran my home budget the way I’ve seen my county office run I would be in bankruptcy. And that what is happening here……poor management….but instead of learning from their mistakes they pull this stunt……asking the taxpayers to pay more to them so that they can spend more!

    We have to send them a message FOR OUR CHILDREN…Stop spending…Say no to this tax increase…
    Or cut some of this spending..

    How many of you voters make this much money..?

    ..these are 2010 numbers so they are probably higher now.

    Valentine, Janet S FLAGLER COUNTY SCHOOLS: DISTRICT PERSONNEL Superintendent $145,000.00
    Tant, Tom D FLAGLER COUNTY SCHOOLS: DISTRICT PERSONNEL Exec Dir Fiscal $105,345.00
    Dyer, Diane M FLAGLER COUNTY SCHOOLS: DISTRICT PERSONNEL Dir Curr 9-12 $100,612.00
    Holiday, Harriett S FLAGLER COUNTY SCHOOLS: DISTRICT PERSONNEL Dir Pers $100,612.00
    Delbrugge, William P FLAGLER COUNTY SCHOOLS: DISTRICT PERSONNEL Superintendent $95,362.76
    Gavin, Kristy J FLAGLER COUNTY SCHOOLS: DISTRICT PERSONNEL School Board Attorney $95,000.00
    Judd, Michael W FLAGLER COUNTY SCHOOLS: DISTRICT PERSONNEL Senior Director Ops $94,980.00
    Maxcy, Stewart C FLAGLER COUNTY SCHOOLS: DISTRICT PERSONNEL Principal On Assgn $94,574.00
    Haymes, Denise FLAGLER COUNTY SCHOOLS: DISTRICT PERSONNEL Dircurr Pk?8 $92,693.00
    Nocella, Robert FLAGLER COUNTY SCHOOLS: DISTRICT PERSONNEL Dir Vo-Tec $92,693.00
    Fischer, Walter J FLAGLER COUNTY SCHOOLS: DISTRICT PERSONNEL Maintenance Director $89,386.00
    Devine, James F FLAGLER COUNTY SCHOOLS: DISTRICT PERSONNEL Curriculum Spec $84,457.00

    Oh ya and the Sheriff and Tax collector who have both spoken out in favor for this tax….combined they make over 250 thousand dollars a year….!

    • Nancy N. says:

      “How many of you voters make this much money?” That’s irrelevant as a comparison unless the voters have equivalent jobs. All you are doing is trying to start a class war that leaves our kids as the hapless victims.

      This list is meaningless as an example of “reckless spending” unless you can show comparisons to similar districts that pay significantly less for comparable positions. If these salaries are out of line for comparable positions IN QUALITY DISTRICTS, then we can talk about reducing personnel expenses. Otherwise, you get what you pay for, and paying for quality personnel is a necessary investment in a quality district.

      • Brad W says:

        Actually it is relevant. And very relevant. It’s not about “other districts”. It’s about our community here. These are public sector jobs funded through tax dollars and there is only so much to go around. Home owners have been beat up enough and continue to give the most to our schools. We should be able to expect that our money from our homes be used wisely and with respect. And our homes should not be viewed as an ATM Machine for our schools.

        You are correct is the kids being “hapless victims”. These selfishly high salaries while our schools are claiming financial constraints takes from the kids. Poor decisions to have a vote now that costs well over $80,000 paid for by the schools (oh, yes, the schools are writing the check) when it could have been free this past November takes from the kids. Spending $10,000 on an award while teachers pay for supplies out of their own pockets is wrong. Spending $30,000+ more than necessary to send graduations out of county while threatening cuts to special education is taking from the kids. Asking home owners to foot a $2 million bill for 45 minutes of class time that could be reinstated at no cost at all is taking from the kids and the community.

        What’s causing the kids to be “hapless victims” is out of control school leadership. The bucket has a hole in it and until that’s fixed you can pour as much water as you want in it and we will continue hearing the same issue. AND worse than that is we are facing multiple tax increases and IF our real estate recovery stalls and goes backwards you can bet that the schools will be the least of our worries locally.

        Schools do not improve a local economy. Jobs improve a local economy which improves the schools. Our schools get enough already. It’s time we focus on real economic recovery and protecting the real estate market that really provides for the schools.

        • tampanative says:

          Brad W.,

          What evidence do you have to prove that jobs improve a local economy? What Fortune 500 company or other major employer do you know that would move to a district that does not have first rate schools? You need evidence I suppose about the impact of education on not only the local economy but the national economy and being competitive in the world market place. Education is an investment in human capital. Our community, state, and nation needs to invest in this human capital more than ever now, not later. The following research may sway your opinion or not, if you do not invest in the schools, your property values will not grow and will eventually decline because people will not want to move here because the education system is terrible.


    • ken says:

      Bill Delbrugge still works here!!! LOL!! Didn’t James Devine retire??? Great facts–geez! Vote Yes…

    • IMO says:

      Do you really believe a person with a Masters Degree or a PhD in school administration is overpaid at $100,000 to 145,000 per year? Palm Coast residents are getting one of the best bargains in the Florida and the nation. For goodness sake start reading some national business reports. The Hedge Fund CEO’s in New York have targeted Florida as the best location to move their operations too. These CEO’s sick and tired of the high taxes in New York have targeted Palm Beach, Florida as to where they are moving too. High tech computer companies are reported to be looking at central Florida especially the Palm Coast area to move their operations too. These high tech industries have already announced that the state of Florida and central Florida could be East Coast Silicon Valley. Now if you don’t think these companies and other businesses are monitoring your school district and this vote I cannot figure out a way to explain it to you. These people monitor everything that is going on in this nation. Are you paying any attention at all to what the reports are as to the tremendous projected changes in business and population demographics that is occurring especially out of the democrat controlled high taxed states?

      Why do you think that Palm Coast home values have stabilized and are once again increasing? Why do you think housing values have stabilized in the mid west and western states? People are deserting the democrat controlled high taxed states in droves. Businesses are leaving these states.

      Why do you think the government officials in New York and New Jersey are allowing the insurance companies not to give homeowners who lost their homes to Hurricane Sandy their checks for their loses “unless the house is rebuilt first.” Because the Governors and local politicians know those people would take those checks and say “Goodbye high taxed New York and New Jersey! Florida, Carolina’s, Nevada, Arizona here we come” So they are allowing the insurance companies to hold those people hostage. Either rebuild first and start paying your taxes again or NO INSURANCE CHECK.

      How can anyone not see the opportunity that exists for the community of Palm Coast and the state of Florida. 3 nights ago Sean Hannity advised during his show he wants out of New York and wishes he could re-locate to Florida. His millions of viewers heard him. Hannity was sending his viewers a message with his remarks.

      So just exactly where are Palm Coast schools today?

      “U.S. News And World Report
      April 23, 2013

      MHS and FPC make 2013 Best High Schools Rankings by U.S. News and World Report
      Submitted on Tuesday April 23rd 2013 2:44:14 PM

      Matanzas and Flagler Palm Coast High Schools have been identified as two of the most outstanding high schools in the country.

      U.S. News and World Report has released its annual Best High Schools rankings after analyzing 21,035 public schools nationwide. Out of 777 high schools in Florida, only 119 met the student performance and college readiness criteria that enabled them to be included in the national rankings. Both Flagler County high schools, Matanzas High School and Flagler Palm Coast High School, are among this elite group.

      MHS is ranked # 72 in Florida and #1523 nationwide; FPC, # 87 in Florida and #2242 nationwide. These rankings put MHS in the top 7% and FPC in the top 11% of all high schools nationwide.

      According to the report, “A three-step process determined the Best High Schools. The first two steps ensured that the schools serve all of their students well, using performance on state proficiency tests as the benchmarks. For those schools that made it past the first two steps, a third step assessed the degree to which schools prepare students for college-level work.”

      As part of the first two steps, it was determined that the average student was performing better than what was expected for the average student across the state and that the least-advantaged students of Matanzas and Flagler Palm Coast High Schools —identified by the report as black, Hispanic, and low-income—were performing statistically better than similar disadvantaged students in the state.

      By demonstrating that they were performing at this high level, MHS and FPC were eligible to move to the third step in the selection process: a determination of college readiness. This step measured “which schools produced the best college-level achievement for the highest percentages of their students.” A “college readiness index” based on Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate participation and performance was calculated and the two Flagler County high schools were deemed high achieving in this area as well.

      Flagler Palm Coast High School and Matanzas High School both earned “Silver Medal” recognition, an honor reserved for only schools in the top 2,290 (11%) in the nation.”

      The full story can be found at and


  6. IMO says:

    Thank you Mr. Gardiner for having the facts published at Falgler Live.

    Thank you FlaglerLive for publishing Mr. Gardiner’s report to the Palm Coast Community.

    A very special thanks to Ms. Niharny for starting the conversation here at FlaglerLive as to the tax vote to begin with.

  7. Ogreagain says:

    It’s not going to pass, but keep beating that drum you guys. I’m voting no. no matter how many tax supported pay checks tell me I should vote for it.. this is number 5, who’s next? Plus who’s paying for the signs at the schools and the yellow and black ones up and down belle terre?

  8. Will says:

    Thank you Jay Gardner for pointing out the facts.

  9. Bethechange says:

    Thank you, jay for your accurate, timely and concise clarification of the facts regarding the .5 mil. So many people in the community, particularly the children who don’t get a vote, owe you a debt of gratitude. Your unequivocable use of the word ‘admirable,’ in describing the grueling, ofttimes thankless work of the district seems less-than-fashionable these days! I remain proud and pleased to live in a nation where I can hear the other voices, but do they have to be so loud? :) I appreciate all that has been done for my children – past and present. Like you, I’ll be voting, ‘yes.’

  10. Mike says:

    Thank you, Mr. Gardner. That should forever silence the horribly misinformed public regarding this. Obviously a “yes” vote will be influential in Flagler county and only the misguided would assume otherwise.

  11. Brad W says:

    Here’s the problem . . . 2007 is not the year to begin with in regards to comparisons. It would be the same issue with the homeowner that looks at 2005-2006 for their home value thinking that was a true value. Those values are false and were unrealistic. There is a reason this school tax increase sales pitch doesn’t quote figures prior to 2007 and that’s because prior to 2007 our schools saw sharp increases in their budgets as home values rose and the population increased. If you notice on the presentation graphs that have been used the declines are bottoming out for the schools (and have already for the real estate market). So again, here we are with another government official not being entirely truthful with the community and attempting to sell a tax increase.

    The bottom line is that our schools get the most from homeowners already. My household, for one, paid over $1,100 last year just to the schools and my house has a taxable value not much higher than what was used as an example in the recent presentations. Homeowners will naturally see a tax increase this year with higher taxable values AND the County government’s budget shortfall. It’s going to be A LOT more than just $25 per year folks. Our schools need to learn what is the norm for budgets and stop pointing the finger others when the over $100,000 of blatant waste revealed throughout this process is not addressed. To irresponsibly and selfishly try to threaten a community and play on their guilt to get a tax hike that could cause economic damage that is far-reaching in the long-run is wrong. To reveal that we could have the 45 minutes without spending $2 million and the only thing holding that back is adults coming to reasonable agreements is wrong.

    Vote NO and truly protect the future of our schools.

    • IMO says:

      Wrong BradW. Although the entire nation suffered the effects of the housing bubble the democrat union controlled states did not lower school taxes to reflect the decrease in home values. Instead they simply raised the tax rates. They had put Fair Market Value Assessment laws in place before the downturn that precluded property and school taxes be lowered if housing prices fell.

      So they have simply been raising their “Tax Rates” to maintain or increase tjheir budgets. So as I advised you in the other thread although housing values fell almost a full 30% where I once lived taxes have risen about 20% since 2007.

      Our republican Tax Assessor warned us not to let them change the tax assessment system. But the democrat legislature pushed it through. Reassessed every home in the county and then the democrats raised property and school taxes 47% over the 3 year period before the 2007 housing bubble. They have not cut their budgets one penny. They just keep raising the tax rate. What they did Brad was make the tax system one sided. Your home value goes up your taxes go up your home value goes down your taxes go up. The elected politicians set the tax rates each year you don’t get to vote on it.

      So remember those words. “Fair Market Value Assessment.” If you heer hear a Florida politician mention lets go to a “Fair Market Value Assessment.” assessment system know that politician is out to hurt you real bad in your wallet.

  12. Realty Check says:

    You need to also say that the taxes in 2007 were based on a false housing boom, the home values never existed in Flagler they were driven by investors. The problem does not lie with how much we pay, but with how the FCSB members spend the money; a prime example would be an assistant superintendent at 6 figures. I appreciate your input but your statistics are based on a false sense of property values, a 1400 SQ foot house in PC was never worth 275K. The county, including commissioners and school board members never planned well and now we are broke and spiraling downward. This is about the mismanagement of funds by our political leaders, Commissioners wanting to grease the palms of real-estate holders (old hospital 1.3 million) honestly this county has been ruined by the current board of politicians. You have a county commissioner who has claimed bankruptcy twice in his life, is this who we want managing our money? The plain simple fact is, its not about the tax rate, it’s the miss use of funds and the hard cuts not being made in lieu of political suicide by our FCSB.

  13. Jack Howell says:

    Jay’s input is spot on and educated voters need to take note. Far to often, the pundits pass the wrong information to the voting public. Voter’s, do your homework on this issue!

  14. Magnolia says:

    Very good explanation, Mr. Gardner. How many administrators with six figure salaries have they laid off?

  15. Stevie says:

    “If we closed all government schools, made free libraries universal, encouraged public discussion groups everywhere, sponsored apprenticeships for every young person who wanted one, let any person or group who asked to open a school do so—without government oversight—paid parents (if we have to pay anyone) to school their kids at home using the money we currently spend to confine them in school factories, and launched a national crash program in family revival and local economies, Amish and Mondragon style, the American school nightmare would recede.”

  16. John says:

    Mr Gardner,

    How did you come up with these figure?

    Based on the submitted and approved School District Budget for FY 2006-2007 the Total Estimated Revenues was $94,669,865, which includes the Local District School Tax of $59,064,967 .

    The FY 2011-2012 Budget the Total Estimated Revenues was $98,978,240, which includes the Local District School Tax of $46,012,210.

    The FY 2012-13 Budget the Total Estimated Revenues is $100,519,126, which includes the Local District Tax of $42,781,776.

  17. Joe Schmo says:


  18. emile says:

    A resident can look on the property appraiser’s website to find his school taxes for several years. There is a search option and you can fill in your name or address and it will pull up your assessment. At the bottom of the assessment window, there is a link to the tax collector. You can see how much you have been paying in school taxes over the years.

    Mine stayed pretty level from 2007 to 2011, but dropped last year. This year the schools will be really struggling with even less revenue.

  19. Think About it says:

    I’d like to know if it isn’t going to increase our taxes, then why the blazes are we even voting???

    I’ve already voted and voted ….NO !

  20. MSFB says:

    Love the way you happened to picked 2007, just before the bubble burst. Just think what could have been done with all that surplus monies if our elected officials had not been so reckless in spending all of this money. Who are you kidding, your figures represent the devaluation of property in flagler county from 2007 to 2013. You just not collecting as much taxes on houses that were apprasied at over 300,000 in 2007 and now are worth less than half of that now. Just remember the old addage, ” Figures don’t lie but liars figure”

  21. Rollbamtide says:

    The millage rate has gone from 4.999 in 2007 to 5.4450 in 2012, with a high of 5.552 in 2011. It is absolutely misleading for Mr. Gardner to begin his comparison in 2007, at the height of the real estate boom. We are being taxed to death. I have not had a raise at my job since 2006. Cuts are needed, not the raising of taxes. No matter how much they get, school districts will always be screaming for more. NO MORE NEW TAXES.

    • songbird says:

      @rollbamtide, you must be looking at the wrong millage rates. The school millage rates went from 9.5 in 2000 to 7.9 this year. The lowest was 7.6 in 2008 and since then it’s crept up thanks so a community who voted to make up some of the difference for a lack of federal and state funding and their unfunded mandates. Vote yes!

  22. Sherry Epley says:

    @ Stop Says. . . You are very courageous and “doing the right thing” with your comments!

    This from an April 25th article in the News Journal:

    BUNNELL — Flagler and Volusia County schools continue to lose students, with enrollment in both counties dropping since August, which could mean a reduction in state funding.

    How big of a reduction depends on the numbers. Flagler schools have lost 268 students since August, including about 50 students since early March, though they gained 10 students last week. There are now 12,674 students in the county’s traditional and charter public schools, according to data collected Monday.

    Student numbers tend to fluctuate but a decline of this magnitude has “never happened before,” said Chief Financial Officer Tom Tant, who started working for the Flagler school district in 1991.

    I would like to point out that although student enrollment is declining, the school board members decided NOT to take a cut in pay, although those salaries are at least partially based on the number of students enrolled. If our governor and legislators were really serious about keeping taxes low, they would be at least be looking very closely at trimming the salaries being paid to the administrators and school board members. Remember, school board positions are part time (at over 30K a year) and no credentials or professional qualifications are required. In several other states, school boards are voluntary positions.

    When these salaries are re-evaluated/trimmed to set a good example, I will happily pay higher taxes. We are currently top heavy with highly paid bureaucrats. . . and the students are paying the price. Please vote NO!

    • Mike says:

      @ Sherry, I could not agree more, these FCSB members are in no way qualified to mange this type of budget, one cuts lawns and another is a bug sprayer. Nothing wrong with either position, but the reality is we need professionals that have the million dollar budget experience. It is a crock that they are elected and paid 30K a year for part time work (plus a pension) They refuse to make the cuts in administration that must be made. This has nothing to do with a new tax, rather the miss management of funds, along with poor management skills. I would gladly pay the extra tax if I though they would be frugal with the money, but they will overspend it as usual and ask for more when this runs out. We have a SB member who once sued the city of FB because she was a klutz and fell on the boardwalk by the beach, and this while she held public office. We have a county commissioner who has filed bankruptcy twice and he is in charge of money??? it is political insanity in this county, its who you know, not what you know.

  23. Think About it says:

    For those that don’t know, you can vote early and the voting office is open at 10AM, Bunnell..
    You don’t have to wait until June 7th…
    I strongly suggest getting there if you haven’t and/or mail your vote in… Make your voice be heard and VOTE!

  24. Magnolia says:

    @ Sherry Epley: We are ALL paying the price. Great comments.

  25. OnTheFrontLines says:

    It seems that many of our informed readers could use a better education themselves.

    #1: The children come first…
    #2: Stop comparing jobs within the county. Your pay rate would look much different if you were to have worked in a government job for 25 plus years (with or without an education) and moved up the corporate ladder. That’s why people go to college (or not) and work in one line of work for many years.
    #3: Yes, spending is out of control within the ENTIRE education system. You could become elected and make a change if you don’t like it instead of being a keyboard jockey. You could also become a principal and make the tough choices.
    #4: Jay Gardner is stating statistics. He has found his information from his line of work. I find him to be a credible source over these online newspapers trying to sway the vote to push their own personal agendas. He is also more credible than a keyboard jockey that refuses to give their identity and write a “Letter to the Editor.” In other words, put up or shut up.
    #5: Most are in over their heads with their mortgages anyways. You should have thought about buying property when it was 5k for a lot and not 75k for the same lot 8 years ago which is now 15k per lot. If a $25 a year tax raise (approx.) is going to put you in foreclosure then you shouldn’t own a home. You just might be the same person that goes to a local sit-down restaurant and can’t afford a tip.
    #6: research the school insurance rates if you feel that teachers have it so easy.
    #7: ask those para-professionals who are possibly being cut if they would like you to vote yes.

    • Anonymous says:

      OnTheFront: How a private citizen spends his/her money is none of yours or anyone elses business. However, how elected officials spend a private citizens money is very much their/our business.
      Also, looks like just one administrator’s salary could fund about SIX para-professional jobs. Having been “on the front line” in our schools, one para-professional is worth their weight in gold! They lift young adults, change diapers, spoon feed, wipe up vomit, and more. It is incredulous that the school board would even consider laying off one of the hardest working employees in the county.
      And ps: I am sick of all the BS about how it is the law here that the Board is paid. Well then, we need to change that! Talk about bringing something up for a vote! For ex, in NY the Board of Ed is elected and works as an Honorary position. And there is no lack of individuals vying for what is considered a prestigious and highly esteemed position with no pay other than knowing they are creating some of the finest public schools in the country. This is true in other top education states.

    • Realty Check says:

      @ On the front line, your anger is unwarranted; you must work for the Flagler counties largest employer, the school district! It is not about the money, its about the miss use of the funds, no one says people do not have the right to make six figures, its about putting caps on positions, just because you have been there for 25 years does not mean your position should earn you mega dollars. I work for a fortune 200 company, my position is capped at 100K per year, and if I want to make more I need to move into new level of senior management. , I do not mind because we are more bonus structured (paid on performance) the better I preform at my job the more I make each year. I looked over every salary in the FCSD (as posted in the News Journal) and we have a librarian making 80K a year. The wasteful spending as with that job and a assistant superintendent is the type of poor management that sinks a company, if our school board members were in the private sector they would be on performance improvement plans, or terminated. As for Jay Gardner he is correct, but the inflated numbers for the 2007 housing bubble are inaccurate to compare to todays values, such creating a false sense of lowered school taxes. The taxes are right back on target as to where they were before the inflated housing boom, where did all that extra tax money go too? I do not want to see any person loose a job, so ask the school board why they do not eliminate the job they created last year (Assistant superintendent) in a small district, this one unnecessary job would save 5 Para’s from losing theirs. The reason is our school board is deaf, dumb and blind when it comes to real cuts and not committing political suicide. I personally pulled my children out of the Flagler school district due to the poor performance, and all associated problems within the district; I know many cannot do this per the cost and transportation issues to get to a private school. No one should be stuck having to settle for what the public education system has become, a poorly run failure, but many are. I always here the same malarkey about Flagler has A rated schools, well A rated in and F rated state makes Flagler the valedictorian at the GED graduation, sorry but the FCSD and Board are failing miserably.

  26. confidential says:

    I totally agree with Stop above!
    I make it fine in my household, sustaining a nice well maintained home, pay all my bills, put food in the table and a good running 11 year old car (of course not 2013 BMW, Lexus or the like) with less than 55,000/year and I am forced to fund all these administrative whales at six figures or close, for the sake of supposedly “high qualified professionals?”My good running car is 11 years old because I had to tighten my belt after 2008. So should everyone else sustained by our taxes.
    Where are the results of such a quality high paid professionals shown?
    I know more than one county employee and or their boss that complains about the administrative waste imposed on our hard earned taxes, as they know it inside out and for decades Then all the elected one’s and their picked administrators do is to pat each others backs on our hard earned dime. Lets do not forget that very good professionals could be a double sword liability as their skills can also be used to bite the hand that feeds them, as has happened allover this county and cities for at least the last 20 years.

  27. Pat says:

    Another government shill advocating increase taxes! Surprise! Except this guy is republican. Just goes to show the bipartisan consensus for government policies that promote extracting every single penny from the hard working citizen.

  28. confidential says:

    @OnTheFrontLies. You aimed to the wrong tree with your attacks on the taxpayers here.
    #1. is your first lie…as for sure the kids are never first but instead the administrative waste and the six
    figure administrators are.
    #2 Do you have any idea how many of the tax payers in this county worked way over 25 years never getting to the six figure pay? Not for the lack of trying.
    #3 I am glad you agree that spending is out of control. Takes up a lot of guts for honest citizens to run for office in this county.
    #4 Why are you so paranoid about the identity of most citizens in this comments? To witch hunt or shut them up?
    #5 Your guessing about most of us being over our heads with mortgages or whatever that your feverish $$ hungry mind invents is a total distortion to justify us being fleeced.
    #6 Would not surprise me that the school insurance rate is grossly over priced as any other contract the administrators get their hands on…as plenty water runs under the bridge..
    #7 Sure the paraprofessionals are with us questioning why they are let go, other than a couple of six figure whale administrators instead. Are you one of them and that is why you also use an alias here? Your intended intimidation to us taxpayers wont work…just the ballot box has the last word, not you yet.

  29. Anonymous genius taxpayer concerned citizen insider says:

    This may be crazy for some of you to hear, but often times when you go to college and get a professional degree, a masters degree, and then work hard for 25 years in a field – making around $100,000 is not unheard of, in fact it’s expected. I know what you’re thinking, what am I doing taking a break from work to write comments on flaglerlive, if I get fired I won’t be able to continue to pay your Medicare and social security bills for you. I apologize


  30. confidential says:

    To; OnTheFrontLies. You aimed to the wrong tree with your attacks on the taxpayers here.
    #1. is your first lie…as for sure the kids are never first but instead the administrative waste and the six
    figure administrators are.
    #2 Do you have any idea how many of the tax payers in this county worked way over 25 years never getting to the six figure pay? Not for the lack of trying.
    #3 I am glad you agree that spending is out of control. Takes up a lot of guts for honest citizens to run for office in this county.
    #4 Why are you so paranoid about the identity of most citizens in this comments? To witch hunt or shut them up?
    #5 Your guessing about most of us being over our heads with mortgages or whatever that your feverish $$ hungry mind invents is a total distortion to justify us being fleeced.
    #6 Would not surprise me that the school insurance rate is grossly over priced as any other contract the administrators get their hands on…as plenty water runs under the bridge..
    #7 Sure the paraprofessionals are with us questioning why they are let go, other than a couple of six figure whale administrators instead. Are you one of them and that is why you also use an alias here? Your intended intimidation to us taxpayers wont work…just the ballot box has the last word, not you yet.

  31. plain as nose on face says:

    Amazing! A tax collector promoting a tax increase. No conflict of interest going on here, said the elephant to the peanut vendor.

  32. Reggie says:

    Really….Don’t you BLOOD SUCKERS get enough money from the TRAFFIC CAMERA’S ??? VOTE NO !!!

  33. Lonewolf says:

    What really concerns me at this point is the Flagler Country Appraisers support of a new tax. It’s incredibly unprofessional and, I believe, a conflict of interest. As appraiser he should be impartial and not involved in deciding tax measures. If, for instance, the new tax measure fails, will he be (consciously or unconsciously) increasing appraisals to make up for that failed tax measure. It’s a failure of his office to take sides in this issue. I even feel that he should resign at this point.

  34. Michelle says:

    @LW I applaud Mr. Gardner’s statements and giving us the ‘Facts’. Nice to have a public servant/fellow citizen and taxpayer step up!!

  35. Steve says:

    There is a chart comparing property tax revenue from the 2007 and 2012 tax years..

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