Newest tax solution creates a revenue problem

Tax plan cuts property taxes 25% | March 18, story

Tax solution creates a revenue problem

I couldn't believe my eyes when I read the article regarding the new property tax plan. They are finally doing something constructive. I fully support this new plan, including raising the sales tax by 1 cent.

My only hesitation is that it took them so long to come up with this and that the 1-cent sales tax increase will not generate enough money to offset the reduction in property tax. Why?

Why even put out a new plan that is going to cause a financial shortfall for the state? It baffles me that these educated people would do such an idiotic thing. Why create a new problem with a fix? Besides the government, who does this?

To me simple is better, and with that in mind if a 1-cent sales tax increase creates an estimated $3.3- to $3.9-billion in revenue, why stop at 1 cent? I would rather face the music at the register along with everybody else than wait and see what new and creative tax they create to correct this shortfall. They claim we will be $5-billion short under this new plan, so why don't we just increase the sales tax by 2.5 cents and then we would actually be ahead for a change?

Ed Curry, Dunedin

Put plan on ballot when it's complete

So the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission has decided to let the voters decide in November on cutting their tax bill by 25 percent.

How is it that our state lawmakers can get away with not doing their job, time after time?

The commission talks about cutting property taxes and then raising the sales tax by 1 cent, yet they say they are still going to be $5-billion short. How about figuring it all out first and then telling the voters we can decide on it. Otherwise, any voter who votes for this would be stupid as we don't now what the end results will be.

Leave it off the ballot until its a real plan. And everyone wonders why the voters accepted the new homestead plan. Just for this reason: It would have been years before they came up with a new plan. Who else gets away with this kind of stuff other than government?

Eric Howe, Largo

Tax plan cuts property taxes 25%

March 18, story

Poor get no relief

Incredible! In one of the richest states in the United States, the economic relief is directed at the wealthy. Property tax relief targets those with enough wealth to own a home. Probably the majority of homeowners are middle class people who need some relief. But this tax cut includes those wealthy enough to own second homes.

To offset the billions of tax cuts, the state plans to increase the sales tax. Poorer families, often renters, will receive no benefit from this tax cut, but will contribute a larger percentage of their income on a tax to help out the richer ones.

Sure the wealthier people can decide to buy extra stuff while paying the increased tax, and tourists with disposable income will contribute. But there's a complete lack of relief to the poorest people, usually renters, many on fixed income.

Michael Guilford, Zephyrhills

Tax plan cuts property taxes 25%

March 18, story

Don't make us wait

The government's tax-and-spend policies have been out of control for a long time. Did the politicians have no thoughts that the burden of their overspending to satisfy a few who would send them money would fall on homeowners? And they are waiting until 2011 to "save" us from their bloated, needless spending?

They raised taxes a lot faster than they are planning to lower them. Why not make it effective next year after the ballots come in? Even so, it's just a drop in the bucket compared to the millions of dollars of misused tax revenue.

Jean Rogers, Oldsmar

Tax plan cuts property taxes 25%

March 18, story

Cut the fat

I sincerely hope voters are not fooled by the headline and read the whole article. While the plan may cut property taxes 25 percent, it also provides for increasing the sales tax 1 cent. This is a typical governmental smoke screen where you take money from one pocket, put it into another and call it a tax savings.

What taxpayers need is for government to put in place a true tax savings. Government, which has become bloated over the years as a result of increased property values, needs to cut the excess fat out of its present operations in the form of personnel, redundancy and inefficiencies. If this results in reductions in government payrolls, then all I can say is welcome to the way it is in the private sector.

Douglas Robb, Tampa

Tax plan cuts property taxes 25%

March 18, story

Fairness in funding

I am happy to see this option available. To call switching some school taxes to the sales tax regressive and unfair is ridiculous. I feel this is a fair way so that everyone pays for schools. I do not have children, but I as a homeowner am forced to pay the bulk of the school taxes along with other homeowners. By using sales taxes to fund schools, all those in Florida will help pay for schools.

I also feel that the exemptions should be removed for sales tax on services. If I have to pay sales tax for prepared food at the grocery store, someone hiring an accountant, lawyer, or a charter boat should pay a sales tax also. Another place to look for revenue is property tax breaks and corporate welfare given to public utilities and businesses that post record profits and then bill customers for any cost of doing business.

We need to take the legs out from under these greedy self-serving politicians and force them to live within a budget.

Nik Del Bone, St. Petersburg

Capitalism's high fliers brought low

March 18, E.J. Dionne column

Market hypocrisy

E.J Dionne's editorial is correct, identifying the hypocrisy of Wall Street taking a government bailout. But where are the bailouts for the people losing their homes? Only the average Joes, and not the corporations, have to live with "market efficiency."

And where are the voices who tell us so often that a "market solution" is the only valid approach to universal health care and Social Security? I guess federal government funding is only valid if it is given to buy out a large, failing bank.

Robert Clark, Crystal River

The economy, uh, … where was I?

March 18, Gail Collins column

How did we go wrong?

My goodness, if the Gail Collins commentary didn't hit the nail on the head I don't know what could. How embarrassing is it that the leader of the free world is a bumbling buffoon for all the world to see? What does it say about us as a society that we voted this man into office twice? How could we be so blind? How could unchecked authority get a second chance to chip away at the trust of our allies who had to be shaking their heads at our unfettered arrogance?

It's hard for me to see how we can do any worse with either of the final choices that will be available to us in this next election. Let us never again be swayed by fearful rhetoric and empty-headed grandstanding.

Steven Levy, Palm Harbor

The economy, uh, … where was I?

March 18, Gail Collins column

Brain deficit

This should be required reading for all Americans. It certainly lets us all know the brain ratio of the man in charge of our great country. Just look at the past eight years and the trillions of dollars of debt he has thrown us into. It will take four or five generations to straighten this mess out.

What a legacy for people not even born yet. You are "spot on," Gail Collins.

Pam Stern, St. Petersburg

Newest tax solution creates a revenue problem 03/20/08 [Last modified: Friday, March 21, 2008 5:56pm]

    

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