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Updated: 02/01/2013 04:54:24PM

Beware the ‘fairness’ of fees vs. taxes

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Jeff Koterba cartoon for February 1, 2013
"Second Amendment"

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A recent article in the Sun briefly referenced a Punta Gorda City Council discussion about the merits of assessing separate annual fees for fire services and road maintenance, in lieu of their historic inclusion as part of annual property taxes. Unfortunately, the implications and perils of so doing were not provided nor considered. Every citizen and council member should first understand the comparative costs and ramifications of this proposal, lest it be wrongly foisted upon an unwary citizenry.

Fire and road maintenance services have always been funded through our General Fund, the depository for all property taxes. A well-intentioned council member noted the city currently has $44 million of property that is tax exempt; in effect, these owners avail themselves of city services through subsidization by those who do pay taxes.

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