Letters to the Editor for Nov. 1, 2011

The Alachua County Commission

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Published: Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, October 31, 2011 at 2:40 p.m.

The end of CHOICES is near, thank goodness

Thank goodness the CHOICES tax nightmare is finally coming to a end. This liberal socialist program was a disaster and scam from the start; pushed in an off-year election by then-Commissioner Cynthia Chestnut (later thrown out of office) and passed by a few votes.

Remember, the taxing three commissioners would love another sales tax to replace it, so keep your guard up. And hold off on any big purchases until Jan. 1, 2012, to deprive them of any additional CHOICES tax!

Joe Dechristofaro,


In this county we can't afford shoes

Mark Sexton (Speaking Out, Oct. 29) says that Alachua County's “highest millage rate does not mean highest tax bill.” He goes on to explain this, using examples of how a lower rate in, say, a coastal community, could produce a higher tax bill.

Well excuse Gainesville for not having our fair share of seaside mansions.

Here's the truth:

If you buy a pair of $5 flip-flops in a county with a 100 percent tax rate you'd pay $10 ($5 in taxes). But in another county with a 1 percent tax rate, you buy a pair of Manolo Blahniks for $600 and your total tax bill is $6.

The flip-flops costs you a lot more in taxes than the Manolo Blahniks did! But, oh goody! My tax bill was lower on the flops!

In Alachua County you're never going to be able to afford those expensive shoes.

Laura Roberson,


Middle class shrinks while taxes rise

Alachua County Communications Director Mark Sexton's Oct. 29 column explaining, yet again, that Alachua County taxpayers are really not paying high taxes can be linked to Gainesville's having the fifth-highest income inequality ranking.

Why does this income inequality exist? Because the middle class is dwindling. Why is it dwindling? Because only a robust private business community can provide the jobs and income that encourage a middle class.

Is there a thriving business community in Gainesville and Alachua County? No. Why? Because of the business unfriendly regulations and the highest tax millage rate in Florida that has been promoted by our local governments in our community for decades.

Any more questions?

Laurie Newsom,


Sexton's really smart spin on county taxes

Mark Sexton (“Alachua County taxes are not the highest in Florida,” Oct. 30) is really smart. He knows that if your house is worth more you will probably pay more in taxes. Why did I never think of that?

When will Alachua County stop putting a spin on why our tax rates or so high?

John McCown,


District decisions destroyed our lakes

It is ludicrous for the St. Johns River Water Management District to change the minimum flow levels of Lake Geneva, Lake Brooklyn, Cowpen Lake and Lake Grandin down to their present distressed levels. We know they are not the true minimum flow levels, so why waste tax dollars to record data that isn't true?

The district made the decision to allow the destruction of these lakes, so now they are trying to justify that decision. It is too late to save face, so did they break the rules or the law?

The district takes our tax dollars and then rules in favor of wealthy companies over our legitimate protests. They need to be investigated and audited.

J.B. Morgan,


Groucho said it

Rummaging around my Halloween costumes, I found my Groucho Marx eyebrows and mustache, along with quotes attributed to him that I had found on the Web.

He nailed it on the politics of our time: “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”

How much further along we might get if we could actually define the problem correctly.

Goldie Schwartz,


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