Tax cap will lose its luster June 2, story
Cut waste before increasing taxes
I believe that the issue is not tax revenue but rather government spending. I am a retiree from a major medical insurance company. However, I pay over $300 a month in premiums in addition to a $1,500 annual deductible. Our Medicaid recipients receive better health benefits than I do.
I understand that the less fortunate need assistance, but where do we draw the line between helping the less fortunate (and we know there is abuse in the system) and the average taxpayer losing his home?
There are other areas of unnecessary spending, and I think our state and local governments need to take a good look at the ways in which our tax dollars are spent before they increase the tax burden on people who are working hard to maintain their families, and those of us who have worked hard all our lives and are now trying to enjoy the retirement for which we have worked and saved. Because the recapture rule negates the purpose of the Save Our Homes law, I feel it should be rescinded. Let our local and state elected officials find ways of cutting irresponsible spending before increasing taxes, especially in these difficult economic times.
Michele Salerno, Port Richey
It is time to try real tax reform
Chuin-Wei Yap's story on the tax cap rule missed the mark. The example he used to show that a homesteaded property can have an increased assessment even as property values decline is misleading.
Homesteaded property held for any reasonable length of time enjoys a tremendous tax advantage when compared to a few years of correction during a down market cycle. The additional $25,000 homestead exemption passed by the caring voters will certainly make up for any perceived unfairness.
The assessed value of my own home with Save our Homes and the new homestead brings the taxable amount for the general funding to zero. My tax bill in November will only have the school portion. The rest is exempt.
I feel for the young people who have to rent houses in this market. Landlords get no exemption and pass along every penny of taxes to their tenants. Renters pay the taxes on the full assessed value of the property they occupy and the landlords get the tax break for their investment.
When the article refers to the government losing revenues that's like my son wanting to eat an entire package of cookies, and when he is told he can't, he thinks he has been shorted. Our government doesn't ever want to do with less but we the people have to, especially in this economy.
Our county government has bathed in money from the boom over the last several years, and don't forget the Penny for Pasco! Enough is enough. The time is right for true tax fairness and reform.
John E. Stratford, New Port Richey
Pasco teachers to unite in symbolic walkout | May 31, story
Demonstration carries no weight
I am a former Pasco County teacher. I could hardly believe the article about the Pasco teachers planning on walking out as a unified group after the last day of school in protest of losing their step raises. Give me a break!
How about walking out the first day of FCATs? That would get the public's attention. The teachers say they are afraid they will be fired. Who would replace them? What's next? Are we going to bring in illegal workers to teach our children just to keep from paying teachers a fair salary?
What has the union done while their members continue to see their standard of living decline each and every year? Nothing but collect union dues while patting themselves on the back.
Jack Kader, New Port Richey
Clerk abuses system and shows no shame | June 1, editorial
Pittman a symbol of bigger problem
As a Pasco taxpayer, the editorial on Jed Pittman made my blood boil. If I, in the private work force, abused my job like Pittman abuses his, I would not last a week. Why should the Pasco taxpayers pay for a gas hog Chevrolet Suburban, gas, tag and insurance, and a new one after only two years?
If our county, state and country would use the taxes they already collect from the American people wisely and not wastefully and stop putting our next generation and generations to come in debt, our country would not be in a recession right now.
I worry for the future of my 23-year-old son and the youths of America. Where has the American dream gone? It is lost but not forgotten. I will make copies of the editorial about Jed Pittman and hand them out at the county building on Little Road next week so the Pasco taxpayers can see where their hard-earned money goes.
Christine Stewart, Holiday
Clerk has served the county well
Jed Pittman, do not take seriously the opinions of a few dissatisfied people. It in no way reflects the opinions of the thousands of voters who have kept you in office for over 30 years.
In serving Pasco County, Pittman has raised the standard of the clerk's office to one of the highest in the state while at the same time saving the taxpayers thousands of dollars. I suspect that is the reason he is one of the longest continual servants of Pasco County.
It is unfortunate that a health problem has made it hard for him to complete the trust placed in him by the voters.
Allan H. Foster, New Port Richey