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County Council
Ormond Beach Observer Thursday, Sep. 12, 2013 5 years ago

LETTERS: Let's talk about taxes

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Two residents speak out against increased property taxes, county expenditures; a local CPA offers some financial advice; and, thanks for the laugh.

COMPILED BY THE OBSERVER STAFF

Higher taxes bad for everyone

Dear Editor,

Increased property taxes in Volusia County are going to hurt all property owners. When governments take more from you, the overall economy suffers one drip at a time. What may seem insignificant to the multimillion-dollar budgets of local government is a household budget for others.

Consumer goods and services are increasing in price, and still, the governments of Volusia County force you to pay for things like multimillion-dollar pet projects, and then they take a photo-op for ribbon-cutting.

If you don’t pay, you lose in real estate.

The real estate market has not recovered. The slight increase in property values is a result of the Federal Reserve’s subsidy of the housing market. The “recovery” is a false signal, just like the housing boom and bust a few years ago. Remember, the FED’s interest rate was nearly zero just before the housing bubble burst. The low interest rates and expanded credit for purchasing and re-financing a home in Volusia County will not last forever. The extra Federal DOC tax of 3.8% will also kick in and increase the cost of paying for a home. The housing market interest rates have not recovered. The next housing bubble is right around the corner.

Increasing any and all property taxes is economically debilitating. A second housing bubble with higher tax rates will repeat what we all have experienced during the past several years. Why should our elected officials do this to us, again?

Alan Burton

Ormond Beach

That much for lifeguard towers?!

*The following letter is a compilation of two letters from a county resident to Volusia County Manager Jim Dinneen, County District 4 Representative Doug Davis and the Volusia County Council.

Dear officials,

We are spending $82,769 on four portable lifeguard towers? You have got to be kidding me. I am sure you could find a dozen local businesses that would build high-quality towers for far less. It is even more troubling that the county is relying on a single letter, from the supplier no less, to determine that this is a no-bid  “sole source” item.

This just one example of bad spending out of many on the Sept. 12 County Council agenda. I understand now why it was your policy the past seven years to not publish the agenda until the last possible minute. Thank you, Councilwoman Denys, for standing up for citizens at the last meeting. We have a right to know where our tax dollars are going. I believe in contributing tax dollars to public safety, but this type of spending does not justify a 10% increase in my Volusia County property taxes for this year.

Also, two towers are portable with framing and wheels, and two are mounted on fixed frames. Will we need to bring pickup trucks back on the beach to pull these fixed frames around?

I also find any warranty information on the “junior” towers, either. How long will they last?

These junior towers are also six feet, compared to the current eight-foot towers. How does lowering the tower provide greater vision?

Most importantly, what is the end goal for this purchase of towers? Is there a plan to purchase more of these? How much are we talking about for future purchases?

I urge County Council to vote no on Item 26. If we need safer beaches, convert the money spent on this item to more lifeguards on the beach. I also urge the council to reject the proposed 10% increase in real estate taxes.

Mark Schaefer

Port Orange

Thanks for the chuckle

Dear Editor,

I read last week’s Ormond Beach Observer and savored your (Mike Cavaliere's) humorous piece, “Growing paints; or, There’s no place like home, sweet Home Depot.” One feels one's soul's gently touched while chuckling, much like watching a magician onstage.

With great relish, I also read your "The ballad of old Green Thunder” two weeks ago, and I love your sense of humor. Everything you did was just right: the tone, the details, the rhetorical moves. While at the library, I spotted a clipping of an article you wrote in 2012, about getting lost in Ormond Beach, and I enjoyed it greatly. Then today. What a treat!

The photos last week were all very interesting, too, but I'm partial to "Blue Moon,” on Page 3, which I submitted. I much appreciate it.

What you do does make a difference in many people's lives, mine included. I don't think many of your "900+ married friends" can say that about themselves. Thank you for giving the Ormond Beach residents our own newspaper and for doing a fantastic job as the editor/columnist!

Xin Gale

Ormond Beach

Know Your Numbers

Dear Editor,

It seems many business owners operate in the dark, as far as what they believe makes their company profitable. Let me try to help.

It is a common misconception that cash equals profits. Cash in the bank can be a result of both positive and negative transactions. So how, then, do you measure profitability? Here are a few tips.

Timely financial reporting: Are your financials being accurately managed and the information informative and reliable?

Budgeting:  A budget is your first line of defense.

Benchmarking: How does your business compare to others in your industry?

Trending: Keep track of key areas of your operation from year to year.

Planning: Interpret the numbers, operations, people and the intangibles of your enterprise — the big picture.

Wishing you cash in the bank and profitable long-term success!

Loucretia Campos, CPA

Ormond Beach

*Send your thoughts on any of our recent stories, or any other relevant city issue, to the editor to [email protected]!

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