Letter: We are taxed enough already

Letter: We are taxed enough already

Eric West
St. Augustine

Dear Editor:

Thursday the County Commissioners asked for feedback on their proposal to increase revenue including adding 1% to the sales tax.

Administrator Wanchick stated they should listen to more than the “loud voices in attendance” by reaching out to others voters for input. Why? Because most of those who took the time to attend were clearly against the 1% sales tax hike.

There were some supporters of the tax hike, the Ponte Vedra Athletic Association wants youth athletic fields and claim 90% of their members support the tax increase. The wealthy liberals in Ponte Vedra want taxpayers (including the poor and elderly) to fund their sports fields.

Why not ask your wealthy residents for private funding? The Firefighters Union rep asked for more money for their “professional” firefighters.

He was against volunteer firefighters because “they are not reliable” and “don’t show up”. 69% of U.S. firefighters are volunteers. Why should all of our firefighters be paid?

Administrator Wanchick wants Safer grants, from the feds, to fund the fire department. Safer grants expire after 2 years, then what? The Feds are $17 trillion in debt and it’s irresponsible for us to ask for this money.

The Commissioners are all Republicans, some would argue in name only. Republican’s support limited government, lower taxes and personal responsibility. All I saw on Thursday night was a request to expand County government and a push for higher taxes while threatening that our “quality of life will suffer” if we don’t agree.

Nowhere in the presentation was a proposal to attract more businesses to St. Johns County increasing local jobs and reducing the tax burden on homeowners.

The County Commission has more interest in managing the growth of housing to limit the impact on our schools and public safety agencies than expanding the tax base.

Commissioner Bennett stated she wants “communities that are self-sustaining” while not wanting swaths of subdivisions and six lane roads.

Commissioners you have been in office for years, where is the plan to bring more businesses to the County? Is the permitting process any easier? Is there a huge “Welcome” sign out for businesses considering moving here? Have you reached out and asked them to move here or have you dropped the ball like you did with Bass Pro Shops?

What is the plan? Raising taxes for our “Quality of Life”, increasing the burden on the homeowners in the County is not the answer. We are taxed enough already.

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