The Palm Coast City Council today rejected a request by county government to support raising the local sales tax from 7 to 7.5 percent. The rejection deals a blow to county government, which is looking to increase the tax to pay for law enforcement operations, including the new sheriff’s operations center, and the modernization of its fire department.
But the rejection also reflects the lack of transparency and discussion at the county so far behind a proposal that would amount to a significant sales tax increase, without voter participation, and it echoes tensions between the city and the county that played out a decade ago, when the county was seeking to renew an existing half-penny sales tax. In that context, the rejection was not a surprise, but a consequence of the county’s clumsy approach.
Palm Coast, Flagler Beach, Bunnell and Beverly Beach all benefit from the existing half penny surtax, what’s called the Small County Surtax. Palm Coast’s share is currently $3.26 million, rising by about $140,000 a year. Palm Coast’s share is 50 percent, that of the county is 45 percent, and the other cities split the rest proportionately.
Twice before, it was voters that approved the half penny sales tax. They did so in 2002 by a 74 percent margin and a decade earlier as well. But at the time, the proportion of revenue that went to Palm Coast and the other cities was 72 percent, not 55 percent. But then-Administrator Craig Coffey and the County Commission were desperate for additional money, and wanted to increase the portion that went to the county. Palm Coast was not happy. Because of that, Palm Coast made it clear that it would not support the county in a voter referendum to renew the sales tax–not if the proportion of revenue to the cities was lowered.
The county knew that going to referendum without Palm Coast’s support would end in defeat. But the county didn’t have to go to referendum. It could renew the tax by a super-majority vote of at least four commissioners, and adopt the proportion of the split it was seeking. That’s exactly what it did, snubbing the cities and the voters by adopting the tax renewal unilaterally, raising its own share of revenue and lowering the cities. It was a 4-1 vote. Dissenting was then-County Commissioner Milissa Holland, who thought the scheme disrespected voters and the cities. (See: “Snubbing Voters, Lame-Duck County Enacts 20-Year Sales Tax While Slashing Cities’ Shares.” See articles from the archives on the 2012 tax increase below.)
The county voted to impose the tax for 20 years. In so doing, the county did not rob Palm Coast only of what amounted to $500,000 at the time, but also robbed the city–and robbed itself–of the ability to bond the revenue, because Florida law forbids bonding sales tax revenue not secured through referendum. In other words, the county was taking a financially short-sighted approach, without voter approval, to maximize immediate revenue even though it was lowering its ability to raise larger sums.
The county is now proposing to take the same approach: no referendum, and not even a discussion with the cities about the proportion of tax revenue. That was not even part of the discussion. The county commission, in fact, has had only general discussions about the sales tax and has not yet devoted a focused discussion or workshop on the subject, so it was hurriedly gathering letters of support in a cart-before-the-horse sort of way, with many questions unanswered and unvetted. But as in 2012, the county is desperate for additional revenue. In 2012, it had a jail to build. Today, it has an expensive sheriff’s operations center to build, and it wants to expand its fire services. The county commission’s all-Republican membership has constantly harped about keeping taxes low, but not on this score, leaving the way clear for County Administrator Jerry Cameron–himself reputedly a conservative–to forge ahead with the sales tax proposal.
Even the wording of the letter the county was hoping the city would approve was deceptive: “As you know, Florida’s 6% state sales and use tax rate has held flat since 1988, and many counties in Florida choose to implement the half-cent sales tax to benefit targeted, local programs,” the letter reads. The letter implies that the current sales tax is 6 percent, and that with the addition of the county’s request, it would rise to 6.5 percent.
Neither is accurate. The current sales tax is 7 percent, which is the average in the state. Half the additional percent is levied by the county, half by the school board. The proposed sales tax increase by the county would raise the county’s share to a full percentage point, and the overall sales tax in the county to 7.5 percent, making Flagler County one of the highest-taxed counties in the state, by sales tax. About 15 counties, out of 67, currently have a 7.5 percent sales tax rate, but so do some 100 cities, which can levy a surtax to the exclusion of other cities in their county, or to the exclusion of their county. (The sales tax does not apply to groceries and medications, among many other exemptions.)
Flagler County’s sales tax does not include the tourism sales surtax of 5 percent, which applies to all hotel, motel, and other short-term rental bookings in the county (making the overall sales tax for those who pay th bed tax 12 percent). That is the tax that visitors pay disproportionately, as few Flagler residents would find the need to stay in hotels, though some do. But combining the tourism tax revenue with that of the regular sales tax and then claiming that visitors account for 28 percent of sales tax revenue is deceptive, if not outright false: the 28 percent figure does not accurately reflect the proportion that all Flagler residents pay of the regular 7 percent tax.
It’s not clear where the city got the 28 percent figure, which appears inflated. (A request for that information is pending.) But the Florida Department of Revenue publishes Flagler County’s monthly total sales tax revenue, broken down by category. (The state revenue does not reflect money that goes to the local option sales tax, but the proportions would be identical.) Last March, for example, the county generated $6.3 million in revenue. Hotels, motels, camping grounds and short-term rentals accounted for just 5.5 percent of that. Restaurants accounted for 13 percent, bars for less than 1 percent, and amusement and recreational services, 3 percent. So even if only visitors accounted for every penny spent in all those categories, which is not realistic–even if only visitors were eating in local restaurants, when in fact restaurants cater mostly to local residents–the proportion of sales taxes generated by all those categories combined would still add up to 22.5 percent, making the 28 percent figure look not just suspicious, but wildly off base, and raising questions about the sort of figures government officials are disseminating to back up their claims.
Whatever the accurate proportion is, the references to the visitor portion of sales tax revenue is irrelevant and reflects a fallacy in the argument: that because visitors pay a share of the sales tax, the burden on local residents is somehow lessened, or not as steep. That is also not accurate. Whether Flagler County sees 100,000 visitors or 5 million in any given year, local residents will still pay the same amount of higher sales tax when they shop for clothes, cars, computers, shoes, home-improvement wares, light bulbs, and so on. A resident on fixed income will not see his or her tax burden decrease even if every hotel and motel is booked solid all year round. The bottom line, in sum, is that the only beneficiaries of the visitors’ portion of the sales tax are the local governments and their coffers–not residents’ tax burdens. So even introducing the notion of a visitor portion in the tax discussion is disingenuous and, ultimately, not applicable.
The school board portion of the sales tax was approved by referendum, and it was devoted to technology–the technology the district used to allow students to be taught remotely during the pandemic. That half-penny sales tax is going up for renewal in 2022. The county commission never contacted the school board to discuss strategy, or the wisdom of the county passing a sales tax increase ahead of the school board needing to renew its own half-penny sales tax. The county commission could then end up unilaterally voting for a sales tax increase, and by the time the school board seeks voter approval for the renewal of an existing sales tax, voters could decide that they’ve been taxed enough, and reject the school board’s request.
Put simply, the county’s unilateral approach may have far more unintended consequences than the letter of support lets on. But the county’s approach also reflects the tunnel vision of an administrator and a commission that have tended to be light on homework and big on improvisation. Inevitably, there’s been push-back.
“The Flagler County Commission spends money, and spends our money in ways that are not exactly wise,” Mike Cocchiola, a Democratic Party operative, told the Palm Coast City Council this morning. “We know this. We know they buy buildings at a high prices, they sell low. They’re evidently not real estate agents. But anyway, the half-cent sales tax is burdensome to people on fixed incomes, it is really burdensome to people on fixed incomes,” particularly the elderly, he said. “To give the Flagler County Commission more opportunities to spend tax dollars is not a wise thing to do since they have proven they cannot be responsible and they’re not responsible already with the tax dollars we already give them.” He said the county’s use of law enforcement to justify the tax increase is “like waving an American flag. Sure, you know, everybody supports the American flag and everybody supports public safety. Well we are already safe. And I don’t know how much more the Commission needs to make us more safe. Build bigger buildings perhaps? Surely they can find something to cut out of their budget so as to avoid burdening us, the citizens of Flagler County and of Palm Coast, particularly those of us on fixed incomes, from more taxes.”
At today’s meeting, both the Palm Coast fire chief, Jerry Forte, who is also the city’s interim deputy manager, and Chief Mark Strobridge, the sheriff’s right-hand man, spoke supportively of the need for additional revenue to account for coming expansions of their services such as capital improvements and the addition of sheriff’s deputies. The additional half-cent sales tax revenue for Palm Coast would be apportioned by nearly 70 percent for the fire department and the rest for law enforcement.
Mark Strobridge, the sheriff’s chief of staff, also addressed the council, citing a recent University of North Florida study the agency commissioned that pointed to a requirement of some 47 additional deputies tied to growth by 2025. “All of your county, the municipalities and unincorporated areas have police and emergency fire rescue needs that would benefit from the additional funding generated by the sales tax,” he said.
“You guys are bad boys,” Acting mayor Eddie Branquinho said to fire and law enforcement officials. “You’re putting us in a position that we don’t like. But guess what, those out there voted for us. We’re going to have to have the fortitude to make a decision,” he said. He spoke supportively of the proposal, describing it as “swallow a bullet to go for it.” Yet he did not second the motion to approve the letter of support.
To Council member Victor Barbosa, the increase would invite local residents to hop the county line and shop elsewhere. He wanted other options. Council member Ed Danko took the hardest line against it. “The county has asked us to simply support their tax increase. This is a county tax increase,” he said. “This is not the city of Palm Coast. Why the county is even asking us to get on board and support them, do they not have the courage to pass this tax increase on their own? They need us to get behind them first, because I’ve heard from county commissioners who have said they’re not going to vote for this unless we all get behind them, and that kind of seems like this is their responsibility. They shouldn’t be hanging their tax increase on us.”
Council member Nick Klufas said it wasn’t unrealistic for the county to ask for support for a measure that would also funnel revenue to the cities. “No, I think this is their job, not our job,” Danko replied. “We don’t go to the county and ask for their support if we pass a tax increase.” Danko seemed to overlook the fact that a city tax increase does not implicate the county, whereas a county tax increase implicates 85 percent of the county’s population, which is the city of Palm Coast.
When Klufas moved to approve the letter, his motion gained no second and the motion died. Klufas then told Danko that by not providing a second at least for the sake of discussion, “you’re foregoing the ability for you to be able to display your aspects and your thoughts or talking points to the residents, but more importantly the council,” he said, “so that we can all be on the same page to try to unify our support or not support for something. But hiding behind the fact that there’s not a motion on the table before you were willing to speak and then not seconding the motion, which you can still vote against you, just seconding the motion will just allow you to say what you had said you were going to say, and you did not do that. I just want to make sure that you understand what you’re doing.”
“Number one, I don’t need a lecture from you, Nick, Okay?” Danko, not missing an opportunity to be crude, snapped back. He then spoke of agreeing for the first time with Cocchiola of the Democratic Party before repeating his “I’d rather drink antifreeze than vote for any tax increase” campaign slogan. “Let the county figure out what they’re going to do, let them vote or not vote for it. Let them learn how to tighten their belts and stop buying moldy buildings, but I don’t want them coming to us for cover,” Danko said.
i thought more development = more tax money for the county- hahahaha
IT NEVER DOES
Simple question; does the county provide any help with any services to the city? If they do then we should support it.
Palm Coast Citizen says
The county provides the library in Palm Coast, and the county is the only one that provides social services: home assistance and case management for the elderly, the congregate meal site, the Adult Day Care Center, cremation for unclaimed and indigent individuals, the county provides matching dollars for noninsured Flagler County residents who go to the ER out of county, the county also manages the City of Palm Coast’s local housing trust fund and administers it according to statute. The county also provides Veteran Services for all Flagler County citizens.
So the county provides services that the city does not provided, and given the population of Palm Coast, most of the beneficiaries are from Palm Coast.
That said, I would imagine that most of the sales taxes come from the city of Palm Coast.
She said sarcastically. . . What? This can’t be true, Republicans never vote to raise taxes. Except when they do. . . like those in Congress who want to raise your gasoline taxes/impose “user fees” (another term for taxes) to pay for the replacement of crumbling bridges and roads nationwide.
The Republicans in Congress are refusing to require that “BILLIONAIRES” pay their fair share of taxes. Hummmmm. . . I wonder why that is? Could it possibly be that those billionaires are the ones who line politician’s pockets under the guise of “campaign contributions”.
Remember when trump bragged about paying at little as possible for income taxes? Almost ALL wealthy people do everything they can to legally cheat on their taxes. . . leaving “US” to pick up the tab. I remember several of the usual suspects commenting that trump was smart to avoid paying taxes. What a pathetic, short sighted view!
Yes, both political parties accept such political contributions. That is precisely why our entire political system is so corrupt, and why we need to remove money from the political system. Good Luck with that.
In the meantime. . . pay attention to precisely “WHO” is working to raise your taxes at every level of government. . . and, vote accordingly.
Deborah Coffey says
Bravo! Republicans will not tax the people in Flagler Country who can afford to pay more taxes. They want working moms and dads who need to buy new school clothes for their kids to pay and pay and pay and pay. They do it at every level, local, state, and federal. I will never ever vote for another Republican.
Democrats love to tax and spend at every level; local, state, and federal. Waste money too. That is their MO.
Any examples on that statement? Or are you just throwing wet spaghetti on the wall?
Celia M Pugliese says
GR the county commission that wants to raise the 1/2 cent tax in us all is made up of all Republican commissioners! Hello!
Celia M Pugliese I was talking about in general the Democrats love to tax and spend NOT just here in Palm Coast. I stand by my word. Or should I say in general the Democrats love to tax and spend. If you don’t believe me just Google “democrats tax and spend”.
Trailer Bob says
“legally cheat on their taxes”? If it is legal, they are not actually cheating. Please explain that one to me. thanks.
Lol, not a Trump supporter, but Democrats refuse to remember that Trump was a one of them. What taxes he paid or didn’t pay was fine as long as he dumped money into the Clinton’s. You should probably get over the last election and focus on the now. We are not better off as a Country. Paying more for everything! The a hole is gone but not our problems.
I am beginning to wonder if the country officials know what their doing? To raise taxes without people voting for it, is not right at all. Take, take take that is what their trying to do.
Joe c says
You are just beginning to wonder? How long have you been in this county? The sheriff did not need a new building! He needs a longer arm to pat himself on his back! They all want more and more including the fire department! You can make a study do what ever you want.
Roy Longo says
The fire department wants more and more? At least three staffed firehouses were never designed to be lived in and do not meet life Safety codes. Station 92 at the airport does not meet life safety codes and is in deplorable condition. The firehouse that was designed for firefighters is Station 41 in the Hammock. Engines were staffed with only two firefighters when I retired a year and a half ago because the county would not hire enough firefighters.
Before you bash firefighters, stop into a station and ask for a tour. Look around. Ask questions. Tell them I sent you.
More CLOSED DOOR and BACKDOOR DEALS screwing the Flagler County Residents ?
Without Voter Say ?
These people have NO RESPECT for the Residents of Flagler County …
Trailer Bob says
Then vote then out of office when the time comes.
Tim Fry says
Is there more drama in Flagler County Government than anywhere else in the Country. It’s so sad that the editor here (No disrespect Pierre) has this type of content to write about. Palm Coast/Bocc, you all need to work together instead of working against each other. The Sheriff has the best if intentions as does Jerry….shame on you all. They are asking for the betterment of all, not for 1 or 2. Victor, what happened to back the blue man?
I wholly agree with Mr. Cocciola and Councilman Danko! At least a Democrat and Republican in the same trail working for the taxpayers. The county like Danko said needs to tighten its belt.., stop buying decrepit, contaminated overpriced real estate properties from significant well connected to sell afterwards for pennies to the dollar, cut down the administrative high paid fat and stop funding with our hard earned dollars businesses like Capt’n BBq, and useless utilities Plantantion Bay from Houseinni that put the county, us, in 11 million debt to benefit owners and developers. The FCBOCC has yet to preserve the safety and the quality of life of its existing residents first including those poor residents only about 8 miles west of the Tajmahal without proper internet or cell phone connection in an era when we landed in Mars. The taxes we already pay to the county are plenty enough for the few services they give us at double my taxes to them that what I pay the city of Palm Coast that has to maintain our roads and all our infrastructure. The incoming school tax renewal in 2002 will be another half percent…so be ready.
There goes Mr. Napoleon (Ed Danko) showing his true character. Nick was just confirming what Mr. Napoleon was doing. He did not need that crude remark. He should have thanked Nick for pointing this out to display unity on the council. Instead he showed everyone what he truly is, a sarcastic SOB. Sheesh!
Jeez Rita aren’t we supposed to be civil? Whether we like or not the decisions or wording of an elected official , government administrators/ employees we should react with common sense and civility. We can always achieve more that way.
Edith Campins says
So the County Commission wants to raise taxes for what? So they can buy unusable buildings from their cronies? If the Sheriff is doing so well and crime is down why do we need more deputies? How much could the citizens save if the Sheriff would allow the rehab of the expensive, sick building the Commission bought for him instead ofbuilding s new shiny palace?
Put it to a vote and see how many citizens are willing these spendrift commissioners more money to spend on bad decisions.
Concerned Citizen says
If your worried about Moldy building purchases you can thank your new “Interrim Wink Wink Nudge Nudge”County Administrator. She had a lot to do with that. A lot of it was on her watch as facilities director..
But she did such an outstanding job wasting money you gave her a job that she isn’t technically qualified for. I mean job qualifications are job qualifications right? So now we can expect more moldy buildings.
Who can afford to pay more taxes ? Are tax $s being used properly now? Remember the tax cuts the repubs passed in 2017, perhaps this us a way to pay it back. Flagler county is full of greedy Republicans. Tax increase without the voters,wow what a slap in my face. People voted for repubs this is what they get. Ron the weak governor net worth increased by 20%. What about the blind repubs who voted for him. I am sure they did not get a 20% net worth increase. Now they are trying to increase our tax rate probably to pay for his increase. You greedy repubs.
K. Schure says
We the voters should have a say. We have a lot of working families that don’t need to pay more taxes. We have a lot of seniors that can’t afford more taxes. Wakes up Palm Coast. Take care of the people first
So the tax has not been raised since 1988, but the dollars being spent that the tax applies to has gone up expoentionally. Regardless of the amount raised the money will be pissed away by incompetent idiots that refuse to make management in various departments to the hard work of managing and controlling budgets and expenses. The Sheriff and Fire Departments are totally out of control, a million here, five million there, before long you talking real monies.
The article should have also addressed another rhetorical fallacy county officials are perpetuating: the claim that the sales tax has not increased all those years. The claim is accurate. But it is also irrelevant, and intended as somehow implying a failure of adjustments that’s left coffers barer than they should be. But since the tax applies as a percentage of purchases, not as a flat levy, to say that the tax hasn’t budged masks the fact that it has kept up with inflation more closely than any other financial device. The comparison is with the federal gas tax: that’s a flat levy: 18.4 cents per gallon, unchanged since 1993. In that regard, it’s accurate rhetorically and economically to say it hasn’t budged, and caused a severe decline in purchasing power of the revenue collected. Had the tax been a percentage, or had it been adjusted for inflation (it would have to be 34.7 cents today), that wouldn’t be an issue. The same can’t be said of the Florida sales tax, except as an intellectually dishonest ploy to imply something that isn’t applicable.
Sure, the county needs more money to make up for its fiscal mismanagement. Let’s get the counties house in order first. Thank you Palm Coast for saying no.
Can't believe it says
Don’t the fools on the County Commission realize Flagler County is located between two other counties that both have 6.5% sales tax? Minus a vehicle, if you buy anything of any significant cost, you can drive a short distance to either of those counties and make your purchase, paying less in sales tax, which is what I do.
OK .. lets take a look at reality. First, take politics out of this. Politicians lie regardless of their party affiliation but the fact is that YOU voted them in to represent YOU. By doing this, you put your vote in their hands. A short article cannot address every aspect or discussion and can be biased so not everything is said.
Flagler County could have just raised taxes without Palm Coast acknowledgement. Looking at statistics for fire and police, PC consumes more than 90% of the service but only pays a fraction. With all the new residential building, their will only be an increase in that need but nothing that requires PC to help pay. As many have said, pay your fair share.
If this went for a vote, do you believe it would pass? No one wants new taxes and claiming those on fixed income will be unable to pay but aren’t these the very residents who want more from their leaders and more service to support them? This comes at a cost. Just like the next person, I do not want an increase in costs but I do want to ensure my community stays safe and has the services needed to support.
Celia M Pugliese says
Can’t Believe that is nit longer true as now wherever you buy anything whether inside this county or not the dealer or entity selling it to you including on line are to collect the tax of your place of residence. As I been taxed in the last few years…how long since you bought a new car? Also I remind those that say here that Palm Coast requires 90 % of the services I also want to refresh tour memories that Palmcoasters already pay this county double the taxes or more than we pay our city that has to provide also all our infrastructure and also police and fire paid into city tax (at least 3.5 million additional for sheriff services). Maybe Palm Coast needs to do what was done by Miami-Dade: https://search.yahoo.com/search?fr=mcafee&type=E211US91088G0&p=Why+there+is+a+mIamiCounty+Government+in+FL%3F . Also Jacksonville- Duval county: https://www.jaxhistory.org/consolidation-2/ other than doubling administrative services. After all Palmcoasters generate the lions share of this county’s revenue and we are all paying to the county double the taxes we pay to the city in our ad valorem (homes yearly). Millions will be saved with only one set of administrators and Departmental Directors and buying of derelict, overpriced, contaminated real state or utilities from significantly connected will end.
@Trailer Bob. . It’s called “ETHICS”. . . remember the moral character traits that are fundamental to “doing the RIGHT thing”. . . regardless of the legal loopholes your accountant or lawyer found? Our culture is moving away from that TRUSTING foundation of “honesty”, “integrity” and “ethics” when we blithely accept, and even applaud proven “lies”, “cheating” and all forms of “dishonesty”, especially from those controlling our major businesses and governments.
Our moral character is defined by how we conduct ourselves “when no one is looking”.
The FACT that the billionaires worldwide are corruptly paying high priced accountants and attorneys to find the legal loopholes to help them “cheat” us “honest ” taxpayers should be a cause for great concern, NOT celebration.
Ever wonder why those “loopholes” in the tax code are never closed? President Biden is “trying” to address some of them, and he is of course meeting with resistance:
On Wednesday, Biden presented Capito with a menu of tax increases that don’t reverse anything in the 2017 tax cut bill. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans have said they consider the tax cuts to be a signature legislative accomplishment and they are unwilling to undermine them to pay for infrastructure.
Biden floated a 15 percent minimum corporate tax and tougher enforcement on the highest earners, said a source familiar with the meeting. The proposal is part of an effort to prevent corporations from using tax breaks and loopholes to effectively eliminate their tax burden.
The list also included eliminating the “stepped-up basis,” which addressees the tax value of inherited properties, and eliminating some “fossil fuel incentives” in the tax code.
Biden’s goal at the Wednesday meeting was to try to convince Republicans that they can pay for a large infrastructure package simply by closing loopholes, making people and corporations pay the taxes they already owe and putting in a minimum corporate tax rate in place that is below the rate of the 2017 law.
Biden Used Loophole To Avoid Paying $500K In Taxes https://www.wibc.com/blogs/hammer-and-nigel/biden-used-loophole-to-avoid-paying-500k-in-taxes/
Typical Democrat. Do as I say, not as I do.
To Me as I watch from a distance, and having spent the better part of 25 years connected to FPC in way or another, I lived there for 7, its just Business as usual and the Voters are the only ones whom can stop it. Its obvious new Leadership is needed. Good Luck and Vote accordingly
Prestone Sales Rep says
Would it be weird if I started carrying a bottle of anti-freeze to city council meetings?
Me says says
Joe C. I have been here long enough as you to see what is going on in the county and they City of PC. Lets start with the county commissioners that allow the little child Joe Mullin to be on their commisson. Sure he got voted in but he can also be removed for his conduct.
Then we have the City Mayor of PC resigns and the City Manager gets a $ 9,000.00 raise and then resigns a week later. Talk about a very suspicious thing going on in the City of PC and as a taxpayer I sure would like to know what actually really happened. I smell some dirt going on in the City of PC so what is it?
Lets talk about the City of PC boys club and the generous offer they gave Palm Coast Data to employ so many people, lets not forget they even threw in the City of PC City Hall building that is now sitting empty collecting cobwebs.
Look across the street at the remaining Palm Coast Data what is left of it, that too I would bet will be totally gone soon and then another building will be empty collecting more cobwebs.
Oh, and then lets talk about the City of PC building apartments and developing housing developments I guess they assume everyone moving here will be retired. What if they aren’t, oh then they can all be out of work since the county commissioners nor the City of PC officials do not bring in substantial work here, only retail stores that come and go like the wind.
It is time to clean house in the County Comissioners Office as well as the Officials in the City of PC because it doens’t appear that they know what their doing.
They should all be ashamed of themselves and as I taxpayer we should all make our voices heard with how disappointed we are.
Drive around the empty stores and the traffic is horrible, they haven’t thought about that either.
I rest my case.
David Schaefer says
I see Danko was at it again. Who can afford to pay more taxes except the rich that live on the other side of the dunes bridge….
You know what, the more I think about the ethics of “doing the right thing” versus just doing all we can to get away with anything the law’s loopholes allows. . . I think we’ve somehow gotten the fundamental reasoning upside down.
Our scared “trust” in one another, our foundation of human culture and society, and our laws were originally based on and defined by our “moral codes” of right and wrong. Have we so fundamentally lost our way to the point that we try to justify things like lying, cheating and stealing simply because we don’t get caught, or because the “limits of flawed laws” is now defining our moral behavior, instead of the other way around? Are we at odds with one another partially because we can no longer “trust” one another to do the “right thing”? Sincerely, just asking. . .
Lying, cheating, stealing? There’s been no discussion of this at the Commission, no workshop, no vote. That has got to happen first. So I am wondering where these details came from. Who sent this letter? I know at least one Commissioner who will not support a tax increase. He made a promise and he is going to keep it. Why don’t we get them all on record with a workshop and a vote?
Right On, Linda! Thank goodness for Flaglerlive! How in the world would we know about all these backroom deals if it weren’t for their excellent reporting?
As many have pointed out, our majority Republican county commission has, for years, been non-transparently mishandling our hard earned tax dollars with very little in the way of repercussions. They are nothing short of a bunch old white men who will do anything to cling to their mutual power center. And now, they want to raise our sales tax with NO direct input from the tax payers. Thankfully, for now, Palm Coast has managed to hold the tax increase off.
We voters need to completely “clean out” the entire nest of county commissioners during the next elections. We need new thinking from “honest” people who truly desire to represent all of our citizens. In addition, the county attorney who blessed all those bad deals and contracts needs to be sent packing.
VOTE them all out!
ABSOLUTELY. . . ALL the tax loopholes should be closed, regardless of who is using them. If “EVERYONE” paid their fair share of taxes, much of our nation’s debt would be eradicated. In addition, ALL those running for CONGRESS and the PRESIDENCY should be “required” to make public the last 10 years of tax returns.
At least we “know” President Biden use tax loopholes. . . but, we still have not seen the tax returns trump promised. If trump’s tax returns were so honest and pristine, why is he still hiding them?
Why do you people and the media make excuses for Joe Biden? Trump paid $750 in taxes in 2016 — and no taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/sep/28/first-thing-trumps-tax-returns-finally-released-just-in-time-for-election
Take a look at what the Disney heiress says about the ethics of paying (or not paying) taxes by the wealthy:
I’d be curious to know how much the sheriff’s department increased spending total is with the new operations center and increases in spending on new deputies and other expenses the taxpayers have incurred since he took office. I’m guesstimating it’s got to $40-$50 million in addition to what was already being spent.
All facilities and construction costs are county budget items, not sheriff’s.