After listening to and following up on the latest round of budget hearings in the local cities and the county, I have finally located the source of the problem. All our elected officials must have been lying on the beach during the beach renourishment process the past few months. How else could they have their representative heads buried so deep in the sand?
One commissioner was quoted as saying (and this is not a quote) he felt like he was driving an eighteen-wheeler down a cul-de-sac. Everyone knows you back an eighteen-wheeler into a cul-de-sac. Other comments heard were, we, the taxpayers, should have come forward earlier. Guess what? We, the taxpayers didn't receive our TRIM (Tax Repeatedly Into Mortality) Notice until mid-August. Maybe our politicians should be more in the budget process earlier or just maybe, we should change the laws so the TRIM Notice arrives in March. This way, the taxpayers will have six months to protest.
On top of that, we, the taxpayers will have six months to review the budget - line by line - something our elected officials probably don't do.
You tell me what's more important - $2.5 million and $300,000, respectively for two music halls or the same amount for the police and fire departments. How about the hundreds of thousands spent to plant palm trees, pine trees, etc., in the median of Keene Road. Forget grass - it's not pretty enough. Spend, spend, and spend. Into oblivion.
Real estate is not suffering only because of the insurance crisis. It is real estate taxes. What a beautiful cover up!.
Ric Cornelius is the Broker/Manager of Sand Key Realty Sales and Rentals, Inc. Sand Key Realty has three offices with 40 agents. One office is at 740 S. Gulfview Blvd., Clearwater Beach, 727-443-0032; the second office is at 2701 Gulf Blvd., Indian Rocks Beach, 727-595-5441; and the third office is at 309 Belleview Blvd., Belleair, 727-461-4200.
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