Impact fee cuts help only a few
I am against the reduction of impact fees for several reasons.
It reduces revenue while we have a shortfall.
It only helps one class of business and a few employees.
It reduces the value of all housing in Hernando County by the effect that the present value of a home includes a value for impact fees already levied and paid. In other words, if I were to sell my home I would have to discount the impact fee because, otherwise, a buyer can say to me, "Well, I can get a new home for X dollars — not much more than your price." We have enough empty houses in Hernando County that are already hard to sell without competition from new homes with a reduced, no-impact price.
Seeing that it will reduce the value of homes, won't the property appraiser have to reappraise all the homes to reflect their downward valuation due to the impact fee discontinuance?
The taxpayers in Hernando County will be forced to shoulder the burden of increased tax bills to replace the missing impact fee, especially the school tax. New homes mean more students.
Why do we need any more residents in new homes when we have such a large number of empty houses with overgrown lawns? If the commission really wants to help the county recover, let us increase spending by encouraging people to purchase existing homes. This works because we get new residents to spend money in the county without spending heavily on infrastructure.
The tax increase that will be required to replace missing fees will fall on businesses more unevenly than homeowners, and the last thing we need to do is to make Hernando more business-unfriendly. We need local wages paid by noncyclic businesses. Builders have seen booms and busts and the downfalls of Florida's economy many times in the past.
Once this repeal is in place, it will become a permanent tax break and revenue loss for Hernando County. Nobody likes to repeal a tax break that is this big. Given the history of giving in to special-interest groups in the past, this will never be repealed, but just look at what our property tax bill will be in a few years.
Ian Norris, Spring Hill
Magnet school rules a setback
The Hernando County School Board has decided to remove the portfolio process for kindergarten and first-grade students who enroll in magnet schools starting next school year.
Taking away enrollment by portfolio for kindergarten and making it 100 percent lottery will ultimately defeat the mission of Chocachatti and Challenger as magnet schools for the performing arts and sciences, respectively.
After a few years of populating the magnet schools by using the lottery 100 percent, you're going to end up with children that are not interested in the performing arts or in completing math and science projects, and you will have taken seats away from children who could have been developing their talents and specialized skills. Children with a desire and/or talent for the performing arts will not be given the chance to prove themselves and be enrolled in a school that would allow those children to thrive.
The board has kept the employee/teacher preference in place for the upcoming school year, with which I completely agree. Yet they have decided to remove the sibling preference. Can a member of the board tell us exactly what percentage of children enrolled in each magnet school are siblings of existing students? I feel the sibling preference needs to be reinstated. It creates a hardship having two or more children at different elementary schools in regards to dropoff and pickup constraints, field trips and activities that may overlap, volunteering at more than one school, as well as others. The bus schedule and distance between schools is not conducive to parents being able to get the children to school in a timely manner. By removing this option, you're not only adversely affecting the ability to get the kids to school on time, you're also taking family time away from an already limited amount of time that families get to spend together.
Let the board know how you feel. Contact the members before the Oct. 20 workshop.
Jason B. Page, Spring Hill
Market doesn't need more homes
I read the column concerning the Quarry Preserve and the proposed projects. The idea of building is the wrong time, considering how people are out of work with no money to buy these new homes.
There are a lot of homes on the market that are empty and going for a lot less than what you may be asking for. This is going to be your competitor, and because people have less to spend for whatever reason, they will go for this because it is less expensive and they can fix it up themselves.
Build industry so people can get jobs in this county instead of going to Tampa. This alone will draw people back to Florida; then, they will have jobs to buy homes, etc. My idea to do this is to give these investors tax breaks.
Also, the kind of industry I am thinking about would be recreation like Disney, and because of the tax breaks they don't have to charge a lot to enjoy it. The people would come here from other states or relocate and get a job. Then they would have money to buy a home.
Look what happened to the Southern Plantation community and the Levitt community, as well as others. People don't have the money or jobs to settle here and buy a home.
Why do you think New York is holding up? The answer is jobs and industry. True, it costs a lot more money to live there, but the people are earning money while they are working to meet the expenses.
Considering what is happening. It would be the wrong move to keep building homes when the people don't have jobs to buy them.
Jerry Savas, Spring Hill
Tommy Mara show a delight
I wish to thank the Spring Hill Community Center for giving our citizens the greatest event in Spring Hill since I have been a resident here for the last 29 years.
Tommy Mara and his entire group of musicians have performed all over the world and on public television and I have attended many of these shows. The Legends of Doo-Wop keep getting better. Keep up the great music. The true oldies radio station 106.3 is wonderful also. I listen all day every day.
Hope to see more events like this here.
John Mooradian, Spring Hill
Is Brooksville's red-light program for public safety or generating revenue? | Oct. 9 Dan DeWitt column
There's reason for those traffic rules
I drive to work at 4 a.m. from Spring Hill to Ridge Manor three days a week. I am always stopped by red lights with no cross or oncoming traffic present. Can't we set times when going through a red light is permissible?
The law according to Bill Eppley says I should just go ahead as I pose no danger to anyone. And I'm sure we can find other instances where it could be okay to go through a red. How about, "I'm late," or, "My truck is bigger than your car."
We have laws and draw lines for a reason, and the last time I checked a red light meant stop. Are you sure this man went to law school?
George Morrison, Spring Hill
To beat the traffic fines, follow rules
I'm tired of people crying about more traffic-light cameras. People who are concerned about the punishment for breaking a law are usually the ones guilty of breaking that law.
As for the right turns on red, they are allowed after a complete stop and the driver is sure the road is clear. These type of turns are very dangerous because some other person in a hurry to get nowhere is speeding up so he won't miss his green light.
The solution to not being caught by a camera is to drive the speed limit, look past your hood and see what is happening at the intersection you are coming to, and don't be distracted by talking or texting on your cell. Drive your car and give that all of your attention.
Obey the laws and think of others as you drive and not your own selfish desires to be the first one getting to wherever you are going.
Jon Campbell, New Port Richey