I purchased my house in 2006 and am suffering along with everyone else when it comes to my house's value. It is worth 37 percent less than what I paid for it, according to Zilllow.com.
Now I get to suffer twice. A lower house value plus escalating taxes. I have seen my taxes go up multiple years. I am sure I am not alone.
One of the reasons for moving to Pasco was the promise of lower taxes and a more rural lifestyle outside. This along with a lower gasoline tax rate. Generally our gas prices are five cents less than in Pinellas County. This proposed increase would offset that savings, squeezing us further.
Most of us have not had raises in years. Tough economy; tough luck. I get that. Our elected representatives should get that, too. It's not just those on a fixed income like Social Security who are getting squeezed. Considering we've had no raises, we're all on a fixed income.
I urge our representatives to not raise our gas tax rates and have mercy on our property taxes. I understand that we all want to maintain services, but continuing to take more from us and providing less and less back to us is not a good result. Let's let the economy improve some more so that we can earn more to pay for these increases.
Andrew Sackheim, New Port Richey
Penny for Pasco is going where?
What does Pasco County do with the Penny for Pasco as well as the homeowners' property taxes? I thought the Penny for Pasco was for the roads.
Also, is it the responsibility of the homeowner to trim their trees if the tree is blocking a major road sign? On the corner of Mitchell Ranch Road if you are making a left turn off Seven Springs Boulevard after dark, it is very hard to see the sign. There is a lack of a street light as well as the tree causes vision issues.
Brenda West Wolfe, New Port Richey
No to increasing the gas tax
This proposed 5-cents-per-gallon gas tax increase should not be approved. Pasco businesses selling gas will lose customers to bordering counties. And, commissioners already increased water rates and proposed increasing property taxes.
Instead of spending money on toll road studies and Wiregrass sports fields, put the money toward roads. How about increasing impact fees?
I am retired and live on a fixed income. I do not make what county commissioners make and extra tax burden does not have the same impact on commissioners as it does on me.
Raymond Kobasko, Wesley Chapel
County priorities are all mixed up
Isn't it odd that in times of severe shortages in the county budget, the commissioners can come up with $40 million to buy a parcel of property that we do not need and the purchases will not change the land's use as a well field?
We cannot use a county park without paying a parking fee. We cannot have our libraries open six or seven days per week. We cannot afford to give our county employees a raise for years at a time. We cry poor all over the place and then, lo and behold, we have $40 million to spend.
We throw around a 5-cents-per-gallon extra gasoline tax on top of what is already being charged and we talk about raising the property taxes. Seems that one pocket is full and the other pockets are empty.
We always have enough money for consultants who tell us what we already know. We allow development all over the place and now we are worried that Pinellas County may sell the Cross Bar ranch to developers even though Pinellas officials say that they have no intention of doing this.
What is the real agenda here? Why are we so interested in this purchase now?
Lewis Corvene, Hudson
School ratings do little for morale
As a retired guidance counselor from another state who spent almost as much time testing as performing counseling duties, I offer a few thoughts concerning the inept rating of schools and the invalid quality of testing in Florida.
Assigning letter grades to schools, even if they are padded, does nothing to help the morale of administrators and teachers who honestly work from the trenches to assist students in learning. Teaching factoids that are going to be on an upcoming test negates the whole concept of classroom interaction and teacher/student dialogue.
Horace Mann was not far from the truth when he offered that true education consisted of a student on one end of a log and a teacher on the other. Could education be so simple as allowing the teacher to teach and allowing the student to learn? Maybe so.
Dave Draine, Land O' Lakes
Neighborhoods need our help
Over the last few years west Pasco, Holiday, Beacon Square, Beacon Gardens and the rest of the area has been classified as a Third World country. I don't like it. They are right, but I am tired of hearing it.
It is our fault. We, the residents of the area, let it happen. The slum lords are helping by not maintaining their rental properties. We must take back our neighborhoods.
Do you see houses in need of repair, broken windows, overgrown grass and weeds, old furniture, old appliances, boats, trailers, unlicensed vehicles and storage pods in front yards? Call Pasco County code enforcement.
Do you have speeding cars and trucks on your street? Be a crime watcher and report all strange happenings. Call the Pasco Sheriff's Office.
Do you have poor maintenance of your street and pot holes? Call Pasco County.
Our property values have taken a nose dive. We must take back our neighborhoods.
Albert Kuiper, Holiday