To the editor:
The new tax proposed by Town council seems like an attempt to circumvent
Homestead exemptions and limits on property value increases for taxation purposes.
Doesn't a new tax have to be approved by the taxpayers before it can be enacted? At
the state level it seems that taxation changes have to appear on a ballot so voters
have a chance to decide about such changes.
Why does the proposed new tax favor snowbirds by having it start in April,
when the snowbirds begin leaving town, and lasts through September, ending just in
time for the snowbirds' return in October? That means, since they are not in residence, their electricity use is minimal, with A/C set to maintain a relatively high temperature and virtually no use of appliances or other electrical devices. Year-round residents however must keep the A/C at a comfortable temperature for living and working in their homes during the five hottest months of the year. Additionally, condominium owners will have to pay this new tax twice, once for their own electricity use and for the condominium association's electricity use, such as for lights and elevators.
The percentage rate also seems high. Based on my FPL bills for 2010, my additional tax, at 10 percent of my bills, would increase my town taxes by 33 percent That seems excessive. It seems to me that residents would be better off by limiting the
town to property taxes at the appropriate millage rate to support the town government. The argument that renters don't currently pay property taxes is absurd. While they do not pay them directly, I feel certain that landlords set their rent so that the property taxes are covered.
Fort Myers Beach