Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Letter to Editor in Today's Palm Beach Post (8/5/14)

Click title for link. This about says it all:

Lake Worth needs what tax will give

I read with great interest Friday’s article, “Opponents spar with city over bond vote.” While I understand Katie McGiveron’s position and involvement, I fail to see what Dennis Dorsey has to do with any of this. Granted, at one time he was the mayor and also served as a commissioner, however, he does not presently live in the city, and according to my research, does not own any property in the city, which makes me wonder what his ulterior motive might be. Regardless, the residents of Lake Worth must vote YES on Aug. 26.

It is true that the owner of a single-family home in which he or she resides and is able to claim homestead exemption will see a slight increase in property taxes, but they should. Where else could we live so close to the ocean and pay such low property taxes? Instead, those who will be paying the most are the ones who should have been paying all along: owners of multiple properties in the city, a good number of whom do not even live here.

Another issue that hurts the city is the double homestead exemption that many homeowners are able to claim. Couple that with low property values and 50 percent of homeowners in Lake Worth don’t even pay property taxes. Perhaps, if we were able to eliminate the double homestead exemption it might make a difference, but that must be dealt with on a state level. In the meantime, we must do what we can on a local level. Otherwise, we will never collect enough in fees or property taxes to maintain what we have, let alone make improvements and upgrades.