City and County Commission public video clips of interest
Sound policies are those that consistently produce time tested tangible results, while shaky, all hat and no cattle policies result in horrific revenue management and tax increases. Shaky policies that promise much but produce very little are easily exposed by going back and looking at what was promised and comparing it to what was delivered.
Reviewing policies based on chronological video evidence allows us to see who had/has vision and who lacked/lacks vision. Video evidence from the past has a tendency to make one look like a genius, or a fool. Gatortown Review by means of short video clips fact check what was said then, and how it compares to what is being said now, and subsequently what were the results.
2022-03-28 17:07:46 The blanket stormwater assessment the county levied against the residents of the unincorporated area may not offer a benefit to your property. If the county invested in stormwater infrastructure near your property, then and only then should your property be hit with a stormwater assessment tax. If there is nothing near your property that resembles county stormwater infrastructure investment, you are being assessed illegally.
2022-02-07 19:46:43 The storm water assessment has some merit. There is very little disagreement over it being a tool county government can use in its fight to better manage storm water issues. When the county invests in storm water projects that benefit property in a community there can be an assessment levied against that property to help cover the costs. Since the storm water project was a benefit to the community, and every property benefited from it, everyone gladly pays the assessment right? That's the way it is supposed to work, if implemented correctly.
However, this method requires too much work. The taxing authorities would have to know exactly what properties benefited from a given storm water project. Instead, the county decided to go with the blanket approach. That means all properties are assessed whether they received benefits from a county storm water project in their community or not.
The amount of time and energy the commission invests in conjuring up false narratives and excuses for their lazy implementation is more than what would be required to sort out who deserve or don't deserve the assessment.
2022-02-01 17:34:47 If the County Commissioners would spend half their time discussing meaningful fiscal impactful issues as they spend on mundane issues, we would eliminate much of the waste and many of our problems.
The Board of County Commissioners is guilty of the following: -Having a knack for gagging on gnats and swallowing camels -Having a propensity to regulate the mice while letting the tigers roam free -Believing they have the ability to remove the speck from your eye even when they have a board in their own eye
2022-02-01 16:19:06 The Board of County Commissioners dashed the hopes of all those who were hoping they would have a change of heart before finalizing the 2022 tax hikes. The county received over $50M from the federal government in the form of stimulus funds but it wasn't enough to satisfy the insatiable spending appetite of the BoCC. The months of lockdown and cutbacks in service levels that took place across all county government evidently didn't net the count any savings. Other counties actually experienced a boom from the lockdowns and benefited from the CARES ACT. Alachua County appears to have experienced loses from the lockdowns and didn't benefit from the CARES ACT. Hence, the need for more tax increases.
2022-02-01 16:09:46 What do you mean by benefit to the property? The county commission thinks that if it funds a storm water project in Jonesville, they have the right under home rule authority to say that project offers a benefit to some poor guy's property in Hawthorne. Skirting the law in this manner may be considered legal in the mind of the County Attorney but it is shameful to see the County Commission resort to such bottom of the barrel tactics just for $1.5M of new revenue.
2022-02-01 15:15:40 It has been said many times that the lowering of the County's general millage has come about because of tax cuts. The truth is the general millage was lowered not because of tax cuts but because the fire services were taken out of MSTU(ad-valorem) and placed in non-ad valorem as an assessment. This move happened at a time when the general millage was running out of cap space. The cap is set at 10 mills by the legislature to protect the taxpayers from rapacious taxing authorities. 2.3 whole MSTU fire services millage points were stripped from ad valorem and given a new identity under non-ad valorem as a fire service assessment; an assessment that has no cap restrictions. This rearrangement or shuffling of items on your tax bill should in no way be mistaken for a tax cut.
2022-02-01 15:03:17 Over taxation eats at the fabric of a community. Government is responsible for providing certain core services to the community that must be paid for by taxpayers. The line between core services and neo-liberal ideas have become so blurred in Alachua County until county government has forgotten its prime function. Taxpayers have to resort to survival mode in order to stay afloat in their own homes.
2022-02-01 14:51:09 : Raising taxes is not a game for the faint of heart. If you are willing to move the adoption of a resolution that is going to increase the size of the budget so much until tax increases will be inevitable; please Commissioners, do it like you mean it. This clearly looks like the commissioner is reading a hostage note written by staff and orchestrated by Commissioner Cornell.
2022-02-01 14:30:07 Alachua County taxpayers are not the problem. The County has a revenue management problem that it refuses to acknowledge. Like any other addiction, before it can be treated the subject must first admit it has a problem. Instead of blaming the taxpayers and constantly looking for ways to create new taxes, the board should take responsibility by diligently directing and persuading staff to get in line with a new culture shift. That mission statement for the new County culture should be: We only raise taxes as a last resort and only after every other possible avenue have been explored.
2022-02-01 14:17:12 "Accordingly, the BoCC has determined that a proposed millage rate of 3.5678 mills for the MSTU law enforcement is required to fund the MSTU law enforcement budget."
Is the BoCC really making these determinations or is this something that was recommended by staff? The constitutional officers present to the board what they want and the board is supposed to adjudicate their requests in a way that balances their requests with the will of the taxpayers. There were no public meetings held by the BoCC to discuss the methodology they used to determine why the MSTU law enforcement millage rate had be raised. Why is the board making such determinations without sharing with the taxpayers their reasoning behind such increases? Where is the transparency?
2022-02-01 14:07:37 Looking down while speaking was thought to be a sign of submission. It was also thought that if the speaker is looking down it portrayed them as being non-threatening. The County Manager and all the Commissioners obviously think tax increases are in no way threatening to the public. Their heads were bowed throughout the FY22 taxes and millage rate policy making process as a symbolic gesture to the public of their humility. However, as for submission, this board does not believe in yielding to the will of the taxpayers, nor does it consider itself to be under the authority of the taxpayers. Over taxation by the BoCC is a threat to the way of life for most of the citizens of Alachua County.
2022-02-01 13:44:11 Alachua County didn't reach its current level of taxation by accident, nor by being diligent on matters involving spending. As witnessed in this clip you can see why taxes always trend upwards after each budget season. The word reckless comes to mind when I watch how taxes and millage decisions are made by the board; everything is on auto pilot. The process is quick and lacks hardly any discussion regarding the proposed increases before being given an approval by the board.
2022-02-01 13:40:17 Was this a heads-up to the myriads of non-profits in the area? One week after gloriously handing down tax increases to the citizens of Alachua County, which includes those who are living from paycheck-to-paycheck, this clip proves the board is aware of what's likely to follow. If the commissioner's concerns were genuine she should have raised them during the tax and millage rate hike discussions.
2022-02-01 13:11:39 One of the more common reasons there is always a need to raise taxes is the fact that every project comes in over budget. It is safe to say County Manager Lieberman does not have the Midas touch when it comes to managing projects. However, since it is not a job requirement, the taxpayers must live with that fact. The $2.7M Camp McConnell upgrade has exceeded $4M and is still counting. This is just one in a long line of over budget projects that can be laid at the County Manager's feet. It is almost inevitable that consistent over budget projects will lead to revenue shortages. How does the county remedy revenue shortfalls? The answer is a simple one that is all too familiar to the citizens of Alachua County. That's right, you guessed it?we will make up for it in our next iteration of tax increases.