Thursday, September 14, 2006

3 Million dollars of Your Tax dollars

This morning I read the following in the paper...

County commissioners on Tuesday OK'd a controversial $3.1 million purchase of land on the Myakka River, arguing that multimillion-dollar homes would be built on the pristine site if it isn't protected.There wasn't a single mention, though, of what has made the purchase controversial during the past two months -- that Tamara Ley, wife of County Administrator Jim Ley, is the real estate agent on the deal.

Commissioners felt that issue was resolved last month when Tamara Ley promised to either donate her $45,000 commission to charity or not take a commission on the deal, said Commissioner Jon Thaxton. The deal has also been criticized because the owner, Myakka Properties, bought the property 19 months ago for $650,000 and the price has since nearly quintupled.

The land had been targeted for acquisition by the county's environmentally sensitive lands program since 2000. But the county's agent, The Nature Conservancy, had failed to close a deal at a time when the land was much cheaper.

What the heck is going on? In these days of soaring insurance rates and soaring utility increases, why in the world would we spend 3 million dollars on land that potentially could generate more income to the county? Who in their lifetime or their children's lifetime will every even see this land let alone use it?

I bet if this purchase was financed by raising the local sales tax - it would never happen. In fact, thinking about it, that is exactly what should be done. Cut the real estate taxes so people are not taxed out of their homes and raise the sales tax. Then we'll see how the anti-growth geniuses manage a budget. Now they spend money like it is their own...

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