LETTER: Giving cover to commissioners

Jun. 26, 2013 @ 04:57 AM

To the Editor:

The Herald’s June 21 editorial, “Additional scrutiny helps city's budget,” left me scratching my head.

Following the tax revaluation, a property tax rate of 51 cents would have achieved revenue neutrality. Leaving the tax rate at its current 54 cents actually increases what city residents pay, yet the editorial praised the council for leaving the tax rate the same.

I understand the Sanford City Council faced enormous challenges in making up over $1 million in revenue taken away by the county commissioners. My intent is not to disparage the tough deliberations the council has recently had to undertake as a result of the commissioners’ actions. But the editorial board’s assessment of the council “not raising taxes” gives cover to the commissioners, who are directly responsible for the tax increase through their plan to cut their own rate by taking revenue from the city.

If we don’t acknowledge a tax increase by the city, we don’t have to ask who is to blame — and that's the Lee County Commissioners.

When The Herald editorializes on such matters, we should have clarity of a complex issue as opposed to adding even more confusion.

Bill Tatum