What Do The Words Really Mean?
So what is it Fire Commissioner’s? A Substation or an Alternative?
The approved Ballot Question from the Commissioners of the Lehigh Acres Fire Board for Nov 4th, 2014
As a alternative to ad valorem taxes, shall Lehigh Acres Fire District levy non-ad valorem assessments beginning fiscal year 2015/2016 for fire and rescue services as follows: $0.35 for commercial property, $0.06 for industrial/warehouse property and $0.52 for institutional property, all per ft 2 under roof; $292.00 per residence; and $21.00 per acre (or portions thereof) for unimproved land, with increases limited to previous 5 years’ annual growth rate in Florida personal income? YES or NO
In the fireboard’s resolution it states substitute but in the approved ballot it states alternative so what so it?
A Substation or an Alternative by definition the two words mean two different things.
Substitute – Use or add in place of. Alternative – The choice between two mutually exclusive possibilities
The Lehigh Acres Gazette contacted two of the most prestigious law firms in Southwest Florida and both can back with the same answers.
1) If the FireBoard wanted to remove Ad-Valorem they should have said that in the ballot question or they could have simply used the word substitute instead of using the word alternative.
2) As for the current ballot question: a for instance can be draw that the FireBoard can use the Ad-Valorem and Non Ad-Valorem at a later time without a vote of the electorate of Lehigh Acres if approved.
3) Though the fireboard’s resolution states that they are removing Ad-Valorem if the ballot question is approved; but the ballot question does not formally state that.
A Gazette reporter asked Richard Pringle the attorney for the Lehigh Acres Fire District over the phone about this issue: Pringle said, “The words Substitute and Alternative are synonymous in this context” He went on to say, “There is no trickery involved here”.