Remember when President George W. Bush said America was addicted to oil? Broward is addicted to snowbird taxes.
Most snowbirds don’t vote in Florida and they probably use far fewer services than full-time residents, yet they pay the highest taxes on the maximum tax base with no discounts. They certainly get no extra consideration from Broward County, as Lisa J. Huriash reported.
The only time snowbirds get noticed is when they are out spending money, supporting the local economy, and creating more traffic.
I have a condominium in Palm Aire in Pompano Beach. In 2022, my property taxes were $3,475. In 2023, the taxes were $4,004. My projected taxes for 2024 will be $4,593. In 2023, this was a 15.2% increase and for 2024, it will be 14.7%.
That’s a compounded increase of 32.2% in two years. This is on the maximum base, not a discount with a homestead exemption or for a senior citizen or veteran. An increase on my base produces more revenue than an increase on a discounted base (it’s not uncommon to hear about someone in a similar condo unit paying a third of the taxes we pay).
What Broward doesn’t acknowledge is when a snowbird leaves and is replaced by a permanent year-round resident, demands for services go up. Driving snowbirds away could create a spiral of lower revenue and higher costs. So you might have entitled your article “The invisible subsidy” or “Don’t kill the goose that lays the golden egg.”
Broward may not have a revenue problem, but it may have a spending problem. Best wishes for no hurricanes and a warm winter — as long as we can afford it.
Murray Stillman, Toronto, Ontario
An unpublicized tour
The Sun Sentinel headline said it all: Lawmakers take unpublicized tour of Stoneman Douglas massacre site. How many more tours of the Parkland school are necessary for lawmakers?
What happened at the school was in fact a massacre, and it occurred through the sale of assault weapons in our state.
What more do we need to learn from this? Possibly, Sen. Ben Albritton of Wauchula, who recently toured the site with, he said, an open mind, might arrive at the conclusion that if Florida banned these weapons, this massacre might never have ensued.
Stacie M. Kiner, Hypoluxo
What’s a ‘well-regulated militia’?
Some people believe that our personal freedoms and our founding principles are as imperiled today as in 1776. Others believe that a “well regulated Militia” as provided for in the Second Amendment is a meaningful deterrent to tyranny.
The truth is, hordes of undisciplined, untrained and uncoordinated gun-toting citizens would be defeated in the proverbial blink of an eye by the U.S. military. Ever since James Madison suggested it, a “well regulated Militia” has proven so amorphous that it still eludes useful definition. It’s reasonable to assume that at the first sign of serious civil unrest, martial law would be declared. Everyone would be frozen in place.
That private gun ownership is incapable of thwarting tyranny argues that citizens who are trained or licensed to possess guns cannot be the bogeymen conjured up by anti-gun proponents.
Street crime and other gun-related crimes are typically perpetrated by people who are neither trained nor authorized to possess the weapons used. So the pros and cons of private gun ownership are not nearly as relevant to issues of public mayhem and freedom from tyranny as the NRA and its opponents would have us believe. The answer to freedom’s peril is something our revolutionary forbears did not have: It is the ballot.
William T. Boyd, Estero, Fla.
Close calls on U.S. 441
When driving south on U.S. 441 and turning left onto Stirling Road, you wait for a green turn arrow. Unfortunately, the arrow turning left at Stirling onto northbound U.S. 441 is green at the same time, as drivers make a U-Turn onto Stirling heading to go to the Hard Rock. I haven’t seen an accident there yet but I have seen many close calls. What we need at this intersection is either a No U-Turn sign or different timing on the stop light.
Sheryl Brackin, Hollywood