This is where I’m collecting all the posts about the Emergency Services Surtax (ESS). The county’s “white paper” on the matter was not only very misleading, but it left certain issues unaddressed. Like why are county costs so much higher than the other entities that provide fire service? What, if anything, can be done to contain costs? What about that discount? How much does it cost to secure and maintain? Is Carruthers expecting citizens who don’t enjoy the discount to subsidize those that do? If so, how does she justify that? The same way she and her colleagues justified the wastewater funding disparity?
According to the iPhone Bandit, the ESS is in the “freezer”. I interpret that to mean that this proposal will be back once the election is safely over. This proposal negatively impacts the vast majority of locals, but it is absolutely great for Comm. Carruthers’s campaign donors. Not only is this ESS proposal extremely self-serving, but Carruthers also used county resources to conceal the negative impact on the vast majority of Keys citizens. I hope voters and taxpayers take note, because I’m pretty sure this is not the type of “leadership” the Keys needs or wants.
I’ve written many, many posts on this issue – over 20! It has taken a ton of research to figure out the true impact of the ESS. It’s a lot easier to dream up shallow gobbledygook that sounds good to people (“tax shift”) than it is to get the actual facts out on the table. But I’ve been doing this for a long time, and I’m pretty decent at it by now. By the way, if the county ever chooses to address the inconsistencies in their statements I’d be happy to post about that, too. I doubt that will ever happen though.
If the ESS ever comes out of the “freezer” (and I think it will), I’ll summarize all this into a cohesive whole. But for the time being, this page is a link farm. Links are in reverse chronological order – that is from newest to oldest. Enjoy!