I have been a permanent advocate of lower property taxes.
A key source of employment in
Thousands of new homes and condos in every location have surely tremendously broadened the taxable base of most cities in
A couple of lukewarm regulations by our
While our legislators have focused on reducing the assessed values, local governments are starting to defeat this purpose by increasing their millage, which is what was to expect, and I wrote about it a long time ago.
However, the flood of new service charges that many cities are implementing is starting to look more and more as double taxation. Charging us for services traditionally covered by our property taxes is the new plague that relentless local authorities are uncovering. I wouldn’t be surprised if the cop handing you a ticket for a traffic violation could include an additional bill for his “services” with a "thank you for your business" remark, or if a local library could charge you a “shipping and handling” fee every time you pick a book.
Here is an example of this kind of creativity.
By Susannah Bryan -
Accident response fees are so controversial that five states —
"It is a cost recovery fee for people who are creating havoc on our highways," Councilwoman Susan Starkey said on Monday.
"We have been trying hard to fight back," saidWilliam Stander, assistant vice president of Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, a trade group that represents more than 1,000 companies nationwide. "The idea that you should have to pay for police and fire services, it's offensive."
Insurers lobbied five states to ban the accident fee and each agreed because of concerns over double taxation.
State Rep. Martin Kiar, D-Davie, said the issue may come up in
"People are having such a tough time making ends meet," Kiar said. "For the cities to impose another fee, it's just not fair to our people."
On July 28,
Supporters argue that
Critics say the fee may lead to a tit-for-tat mentality, with cash-strapped cities passing similar laws to raise money.
In July, Weston City Manager John Flint said his city would likely charge an accident fee to residents of cities who impose such a fee on Westonites. But on Monday, Mayor Eric Hersh said he opposes such a plan.
"If everyone starts charging, it's really nothing but an increase in taxes for everybody," Hersh said.
The plan also doesn't sit well with Steve Breitkreuz, a councilman in nearby Southwest Ranches.
"It doesn't sound neighborly," he said. "It creates animosity between the towns. It may set a precedence that will ripple out through the communities and we'll all be looking out for our own."
Henry B. Nathan is a Florida Realtor at United Realty Group Inc.Visit my website: http://www.condo-southflorida.com/where you can search for Aventura Condos, Florida Condos,