Election season is finally over. We all know what that means. Right. Time to start working on next year’s elections.
Next year, expect at least one special election. The county and most of the cities want us to pay increased sales taxes. It makes sense. It relieves us of that heavy money, so we do not have to carry it around anymore.
It takes a fair amount of money to convince people to vote for a tax increase. The good news is that governments have plenty of money to fund the “vote yes” campaign. And, congratulations, you are part of that source!
So here we are, less than a month past the counting of the votes in the last election and, already, South Daytona is stepping up to the plate. They have designated their retiring city manager to promote the tax increase, at taxpayer expense. Look for others to join him.
Most of us are generous people, and we like to help others. And, it happens that there are many builders and developers who want a helping hand. Or, more precisely, a bunch of helping wallets.
The normal rule is that developers should not build until the supporting infrastructure is in place. They interpret that as meaning that they must either pay an artificially low impact tax, or build a left-turn lane in front of their development. The County credits that left-turn lane in place of the impact tax.
Most drivers coming and going from developments have some place in mind. The left-turn lanes in front are handy, but the problem is that the traffic comes from somewhere else, using other roads to reach that left-turn lane. Developers do not want to pay for those other roads.
That’s where the sales-tax increase comes in. You get to pay for the roads to their developments. Thanks to your generosity, they both make their profits and clog your roads.
Most of the cities, as well as the county, hope for more sales-tax money. Their problem is that many people only vote “no” because there is no “send the County Council to prison” option on the ballot. The county and cities will pay people to promote the tax increase, and you know what they will be thinking — good of you to provide tax money to promote the tax increase!
— Andrews is a DeLand-area attorney and a longtime government critic. For purposes of the column, he finds it convenient that there is so much government to criticize.