Vote no on special property tax breaks | Oct. 8, editorial
Amendment provides tax relief
Amendment 10 on the Nov. 6 ballot would provide much-needed tax relief to Florida's small businesses and provide another economic development tool for local governments to help bring new jobs.
It would allow for Tangible Personal Property tax reduction in two ways — one mandated by the amendment and one at the discretion of local governments.
The amendment would allow local governments to provide temporary or permanent TPP tax relief to new and existing industries, which would encourage capital investment and promote job creation. This would be especially true in the areas of manufacturing and the state's qualified targeted industries — like biomedical technology and aerospace — that our state most wants to attract, as taxes often play a large role in location decisions.
Economic simulation modeling performed by Florida TaxWatch shows that exempting manufacturing and targeted industry businesses that are already in Florida would significantly increase private sector jobs and gross domestic product.
Amendment 10 would also provide significant tax relief for small business. If approved, one half of the 156,000 small businesses in Florida that pay the TPP tax will be relieved of that burden, as it would double the exemption from taxation to the first $50,000 of equipment owned.
Amendment 10 would improve our small business environment and promote job creation in Florida.
Pat Neal, chair, Vote Yes on 10, Lakewood Ranch
Tied up in knots | Oct. 22, commentary
Turn away from extremes
In this essay, Darryl Paulson describes accurately the state of politics in today's America. It should be read with an open mind by patriots of all political stripes. Especially telling is his quote of Lincoln's admonition that we could well destroy our political system from within, something that should strike fear in every heart.
Given current poll numbers, the winning candidate for president may not be accepted as legitimate by half of the country. We the electorate must act, and soon, to marginalize the political extremists on all sides and get back to negotiation and compromise to move our country forward.
Wayne Logsdon, Hernando
Race-based goals send wrong signal Oct. 22, editorial
Setting different goals for different groups exposes how the liberal nannies politicized the No Child Left Behind rules. The easy solution is that all students should game the system by identifying themselves as part of that group that receives the most favorable waiver. This puts them at the head of the line in high school, college and the workplace.
Jim Harkins, Sun City Center
Cooperate to stop crime
At what point did street credibility become more important in the black community than solving crimes? Countless times I've heard or read about individuals not cooperating with a police investigation because they don't want to be known as a "snitch." How will the crime be solved without the cooperation of witnesses? It likely will not.
The people in my social circle don't live by a street code but are hardworking, productive people in society. In my opinion, the individuals who must maintain some kind of street credibility have had run-ins with the police, have been incarcerated or lack the respect for such authority.
How can this change? First, let's pull up our pants, put a belt on and close the enormous gap between the black community and law enforcement. Educate people about parenting skills and social and community responsibilities.
I'm not ignorant of the fact that some of us have had negative experiences with law enforcement, but this doesn't have to stop us from gaining a foothold on the violence that plagues this city. Our black people are dying at an alarming rate, especially our young males who are overcrowding our prisons and graveyards.
Cooperation doesn't have to be a bad word. It's up to us.
Antionette Harris, St. Petersburg
Capital gains tax
Low rate stunts job growth
The low maximum tax rate of 15 percent on investments has likely hurt job creation, since investing in securities provides an immediate 10 to 20 percent revenue gain via the lower tax rate afforded unearned income versus earned. Why would anyone take aftertax dollars and invest in starting a business where profits are taxed at a rate as much as 20 percent higher than income earned by the same aftertax dollars that are invested in securities?
I believe the reduced tax rate on unearned income was likely implemented solely as a "thank-you" to Wall Street for the millions of dollars donated to politicians. As frequently happens, the legislation adopted had the unintended consequence of stunting job growth.
Dave O'Brien, Largo
Power company pillaging | Oct. 22, editorial
Call out the candidates
You asked: Who will speak up for Floridians? How about you? I am grateful for the reporting and editorials you have printed on this issue, but I have also been greatly dismayed by your recommendations for state office that make no mention of the candidates' positions on this issue.
Please put the questions to them — what are you going to do about the 2006 law allowing utilities to charge us indefinitely for a nuclear plant that will likely never be built? What are you going to do about the pathetic Public Service Commission, which the Legislature and governor have molded into what is more like the Utilities Service Commission?
Please publish an article with their responses to these questions. If they don't respond, then please rescind your recommendation. We need to know the candidates' stance. Will they represent the utilities, or will they represent the voters?
William Nye, Clearwater