Available tax options in St Johns County

BILL MCCLURE
BILL MCCLURE

Available tax options in St Johns County

Bill McClure
St Johns County Commission
Special to Historic City News

Part 3

TAKE THE BIG “3” TO THE BIG “4”

600-PIE-CHART

SO HOW DO WE FIX NEED FOR ORGANIZED SPORTS FACILITIES?

• Set Recreation Policy by stopping the funding for one, two, or three fields of each sport. This is a Band-Aid on the real problem. St Johns County needs a sports facility that can be utilized by all taxpayers 90% of the time, but must be built so tournaments (soccer, baseball, lacrosse, etc.) can promote economic development, tourism, sense of community. Studies have shown that 1 or 2 tournaments can pay for annual maintenance of fields. Build the Villages Park with the shift in TDC funds to pay beach renourishment and TDC 5th. 98% of tourist visit the beach. This creates 3.1 million in cash flow to build park.

• Explore the possibility to sell the 9 holes currently abandoned at the county golf course to a developer for high end single family homes (Estimated income to county $1,000,000 plus ongoing property taxes.) This comes at a time when the commission just voted to pay off the 1.2 million dollar debt obligation, and the $540,000 loan from the general fund. Now is the time to explore these options prior to any more operating income from the general fund. Use funds to build Villages Athletic Park.

SO HOW DO WE CONTINUE DELIVERING SERVICES FOR LIBRARIES AND PET CENTER?

• Finally, the town of Hastings will be getting market rent from SJC, instead of the $1 (one dollar) per year. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for, and the town utilizes that building as a central core to all other buildings in the area. There have already been improvements made to the building and this will ensure keeping the library in Hastings at this great location. Funding here can focus on outreach instead of a new building in Hastings. Removes 2.3 million from CIP Plan (That’s a few Bookmobiles?)

• Pet Center needs: The building does not serve the need. If this is because of funding, then pet registrations should be on the table. Pet Center Isolation/Quarantine will cost $288,000.00 so figure out the fees quickly or look to outsource pet operations to humane society or another non-profit. Perhaps a non-profit needs a home and can build the isolation unit?

BOTTOM LINE (POLICIES CAN SAVE $20 MILLION)

• Just say no to sales tax hike and do what every other business in America does. Prioritize items of need, fund required items first, then others as funds come available.
• Sales Tax hurts those less fortunate, retail businesses in North SJC competing with Duval. The new USA is a great example of why not to enact this sales tax.
• Set transportation millage back on right track (-6mil)
• Moratorium on any new county buildings (15mil)
• Implement Gas tax with strict LDC HUB and Spoke models (8mil)
• Create Enterprise Zones to encourage non-residential in areas where schools are at capacity (1mil)
• Build new Villages Athletic Park with cash allocated for Beach renourishment and increased TDC tax by one penny in 2016. (3mil)
• Sell excess land at golf course for SFR (1mil)
• Work with Hasting to make Library a great experience (2.5mil)
• The cost of pets. Either register or outsource. (288K)

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