Fire district tax push is deceiving
The Spring Hill Fire District is trying to deceive voters into voting for taxing authority. Even worse, they are using thousands of our taxpayer dollars to publish a brochure that is false and misleading. Don't be fooled.
If the district is not granted taxing authority, your tax rate will remain at the exact millage you pay today — 2.5 mills. The fire district says 70 percent of residents will see a significant tax increase.
The fire district can make assessments and charge fees without a vote of the people. They already attempted to impose a tangible personal property tax on businesses without taxing authority. The fire district fiction is that no taxes will increase without a vote by the people.
The county has committed to keep the firefighters, equipment and stations in Spring Hill exactly where they are today. Any future changes will be made with input of a transition group comprised of the two fire chiefs, selected firefighters and citizens. The fire district fiction is that the county will take all the Spring Hill resources out of the district.
Don't be fooled by this self-serving false document. Voting "no'' will only change the management, not the fire and rescue service provided to Spring Hill citizens.
Brian Keenan, Spring Hill
Fire board shows no fiscal restraint
I am not against funding a fire service using taxation. I am against letting the Spring Hill Fire Rescue District administration and Board of Fire Commissioners have anything to do with money. The board and the chief have shown that they have absolutely no fiscal restraint. They do not show any ability to reduce costs, but rather increase their spending even though we are in a major recession.
Last August, they raised the millage to the maximum amount allowed. They also discussed the idea of a tangible property tax. If the district wins the right to levy taxes, they will be using special assessments like this and others to raise the revenue to cover the shortfall. These special assessments do not need voter approval. The chief has gone on record that he wants a so-called roof tax so that he can capture all the housing units in Spring Hill, similar to Hernando County's fire service flat tax. That roof tax will apply to churches. Do not believe for one minute that your taxes will not go up if you vote "yes.''
State law says emergency medical services shall not be the primary function of the district and it must enter into contracts with qualified service providers to carry out the purposes of the district. However, nearly all the district's activity continues to be emergency medical services.
The district has failed to provide a five-year plan to the state. Why does this district thumb its nose at the taxpayers of the district and the state of Florida by failing to follow the law?
Anyone voting for this district has their head in the sand if they expect this district to cost the same after the election. There is no way that the district can survive on 2.5 mills next year period.
Consolidation will reduce fixed overhead costs that are found in both services. It will eliminate a whole administration staff and support logistics.
Ian Norris, Spring Hill
Kids feel impact of closed parks
It seems those who call themselves governing bodies of Hernando County still have the same old problems. They don't have enough taxes coming in to support themselves let alone our teachers, firefighters, deputies and those who work in Hernando County government.
So they decide to take away our parks for our children and steal the lives of other families here in Hernando County.
Dale Bennington, Spring Hill
Politicians hurt state's vulnerable
Balancing budget on backs of elderly
It's so nice to have a politician tell the truth while campaigning. While Rick Scott's motto became "Let's get to work,'' we had no idea he meant let us get to work to do away with benefits for the disabled, handicapped, senior citizens and veterans.
I am 70 years old with congestive heart failure, have five stents and a defibrillator/pacemaker. I have worked for 45 years as a blue collar employee and they take $110 from my monthly Social Security check for Medicare.
Why don't the politicians take a 3 percent pay cut and pay 3 percent into their pension funds?
Since Florida started the Lottery, billions of dollars have been collected to go for eduction. Why cut school jobs when there are other useless spending like $50 million for a new 1st District Court of Appeals courthouse?
I would like to know what is happening to the state of Florida and these so-called United States of America.
Janet Zagloba, Spring Hill
Reminders of what we've lost May 29 guest column
A sobering look at the cost of war
This beautifully written letter could not have been better penned by Ernie Pyle, the World War II journalist who brought the cost of war home to America through his magnificently written columns.
Ernie, called the soldier's soldier, tragically died while covering the war, himself a casualty of the conflict.
Ryan's letter to his children is a sober reminder of the cost of war and a testimony to those who sacrificed so much for this great nation.
Marc J. Yacht, Hudson