Double Taxation Could Be Coming
From the Fire Department Board
During the Commission meeting of the Fire Board the commissioners became very deceptive to the taxpayers of Lehigh Acres Tuesday night. For many months the board has so called agonized over the decision of new type of taxation and even Fire Commissioner Cathy Kruse told the board she has lost sleep over her decision.
Representative Matt Cladwell said, “I helped them (fire board) get tools they needed to help fix the money situation but the fire board is an independently elected board.”
Now the truth has come to light and how deceptive the fire board has been for months. Read the full Approved resolution 14-04-01.
When approving the ballot language (see above) Commissioner David Adams vote “yes” but with reservations but reminded the other board members there was no language on the approved resolution to remove the ad valorem tax structure as the board promised to the voters.
Fire Board Chairman Larry Becker asked Special Attorney Heather J. Encinosa from Nabors, Giblin & Nickerson, P.A. to comment. Encinosa told the commissioners that there was no reason to add it in. Encinosa said, “It’s problematic to have that language in the ballot question, and you may need the income someday so I recommend leaving it out.” Fire Board Attorney Richard Pringle also agreed with Encinosa on her comment to the board.
As of right now if the ballot measure was approved today by the voters the fire board would have the right to charge a land owner both a tax assessment and ad valorem. So Double Taxation is this Fair and Equitable.
Commissioner Linda Carter was at the meeting by teleconference and voting “no” on the resolution to go ahead with a tax assessment all the others Commissioners voted yes for this measure. Carter said she would only support a flat or same tax for all taxpayers in prior meetings.
Cladwell said in an interview, “I told them (fire board) on more than one occasion a flat fair tax is the only way you can get the voters to vote for the change.”
After the meeting Fire Commissioner David Adams, “I promised the taxpayers of Lehigh Acres that there would not be an ad valorem tax if the voters approve the tax assessment.” When pushed for an answer why he voted yes, Adams said he never allow ad valorem to be used.
Commissioner Jackie Danis told the Lehigh Acres Gazette after meeting that Chairman Larry Becker told her, he is going to schedule a special meeting middle of next month to fix the so called mistake. (This communication between Commissioners Becker and Danis could be a Sunshine law violation since they must vote.)
Double Taxation – Fair and Equitable two sets words you will be hearing more and more of in the future.