In 2014, 75 percent of Florida voters approved an amendment to the state Constitution that said the Legislature had to spend a certain amount of money buying environmentally sensitive land. Legislators have been illegally appropriating hundreds of millions of dollars away from the intended purpose of the amendment.
Gov. Ron DeSantis recently released a $99.7 billion budget blueprint for the 2022 legislative session and has touted a series of other proposals. Here are 10 of DeSantis’ priorities — big and small — for the session, which will start Jan. 11.
It would be easy to survey the end of 2021 and see another year in wreckage. There’s the pandemic that won’t end. Rising inflation. Climate disasters. A democracy that looks creakier by the day. But there’s unusual comfort out there.
Saying that Florida is “clicking on all cylinders,” Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday proposed an election-year $99.7 billion budget that would funnel money to education, the environment and law-enforcement officers while giving motorists a temporary gas-tax break thanks to federal subsidies.
The Flagler County administration issued a tightly argued and at times caustic memo that draws a line between facts and polemics and between legal and speculative arguments in the ongoing debate over school impact fees,. While it corrects the school district in no uncertain terms on several points of law–or math–it also comes close to ridiculing the Flagler Home Builders Association’s arguments as simplistic. It also appears to forge a way out of the impasse for the County Commission.
Continuing to contrast his economic approach to the Biden White House–which ensured that Florida would get billions in Covid and infrastructure subsidies–DeSantis said the approximately 25-cent-a-gallon “gas tax relief” proposal could save the average Florida family up to $200 over a five- to six-month period, while reducing state revenue by more than $1 billion. DeSantis wants lawmakers to approve it during the legislative session that starts Jan. 11.
In an unexpected turn, what the Flagler County school district thought was a mere formality before the County Commission turned into a 90-minute grilling by commissioners and a parade of doubt by builders who consider the district’s request to double impact fees ill-thought and ill-timed.
Chris Kocher, a licensed CPA since 2003 and a long-time tax accountant in Bunnell, explains how to handle the fallout from revelations that numerous clients of Robert “Bob” Newsholme’s Flagler Tax Services may have been defrauded.
Innumerable reports by his clients pointing to hundreds of thousands of dollars in fraud paint a picture of Bob Newsholme, the long-time owner of Flagler Tax Services, as a versatile but clumsy schemer. Newsholme seemed to have boxed himself in in a Ponzi scheme of his own making, hoping to stay ahead of the inevitable reckoning by enlarging his circle of fraud. But as it began to unravel, it unraveled very quickly. But his clients are now left to pick up the pieces–and pay what they owe to the IRS.
The Flagler County School Board on Sept. 7 adopted its property tax rate and $212 million budget for 2021-22. The tax rate, set by lawmakers in Tallahassee, continues a two-and-a-half decade downward trend, to $5.865 per $1,000 in taxable value, down from $6 last year.