1. Archive

No action for vote on 1-cent sales tax to cost taxpayers

Editor: The comprehensive plan is now taking a back seat except for apublic hearing scheduled for March 12. A few landholders had their own private hearing with Secretary Thomas Pelham of the Department of Community Affairs - don't be surprised which way the plan will go.

Some of the expensive projects that will confront the average taxpayer are the $4-million or more for the needed road repairs because of the recent freeze and the $10-million or more for the new jail.

On Nov. 7, the county commissioners passed a motion 4-1 to have a

referendum on a county 1-cent sales tax that would be limited strictly to the construction and related costs of the new jail. One has to remember the newest (temporary) jail cost about $200,000 and costs about $1-million a year to maintain. Who pays for all this but the taxpayer in property taxes?

The commissioners could have had a special election on this issue

immediately, but chose not to. Instead, they plan to put it on the ballot at the first primary, Sept. 4. The special election would have cost $31,000.

A 1-cent sales tax will generate in excess of $4-million a year.

If this election would have taken place immediately and was passed by the people, it would have brought at least $3-million into the county treasury by September - enough to buy the land and start construction of the jail.

This would not have cost the property owners any additional property taxes.

This tax would be shared by everyone, including tourists and out-of-county shoppers, and would be removed when all construction was completed and paid.

Edgar Gehman Beverly Hills Decision shows no courage

Editor: Obviously, I am naive. I firmly believed that when we elected our Citrus County commissioners that they would support and protect the taxpayers against any project that would cost the taxpayers more than justified.

Their recent decision to approve building a county jail in Inverness caused me to change my views.

They evidently do not have the courage of their own convictions.

One day the jail committee votes 11-1 against the downtown Inverness locations and the next day the commission votes 4-1 to support Sheriff Charles Dean's proposal for downtown Inverness. This is asinine as the difference in costs exceeds $1.5-million and does not allow for expansion.

Our only answer to this lack of consideration of the taxpayer is on election day.

Ken Forston Sugarmill Woods