Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Letter: Let growth pay for swelling student populations in St. Johns County
Let growth pay for rise in local student numbers
Posted: October 20, 2015 - 11:40pm | Updated: October 21, 2015 - 12:00am

By Fred Hathorn
Charles Reich
Let growth pay for rise in local student numbers

Editor: The Record has come out solidly in favor of the ½-cent sales tax hike supporting our local school district. In a lengthy editorial on Sunday, you presented nine separate “feel-good” reasons supporting their conclusion that the school system needed more funding.

Does the school system “need” more money — well of course they need more money. Have you ever known a government agency that didn’t “need” more money? But why does the school system need more money? According to The Record, “The district’s student population will have doubled between 2005 and 2025 ... Ah, the district needs more funding because of an increase in the number of students.

So why then are we asking the general population of St. John’s county to bear the burden of a sales tax increase?

We should be asking “what’s the best way of funding the school system’s increased needs — the county as a whole or the source of the increased school population?” Why aren’t we taxing new development to pay for the increased school funding? Of course, if we do, the real estate folks will scream “it would slow down development.” Well, so what?

I think a little slower development might not be a bad thing.

So I will vote “No” on the sales tax increase. I would be happy to vote “Yes” when I see a corresponding significant increase in the impact fees paid by developers on new homes across the county.

Anastasia Island

Battle flag flap?

Editor: It was interesting to read the Florida State Senate agreed Monday to revise the seal that now contains the Confederate battle flag, along with four other flags that have flown in Florida. Presumably because all the flags flown in Florida were battle flags ... even the stars and stripes, which remains to be a permanent battle flag.

St. Augustine


PearlOfWisdom 10/21/15 - 07:45 am 10Right on!
The 1/2 percent sales tax does not fix the underlying problem. The tax doesn't even keep up pace with the funding that's really needed.

The impact fee needs to be raised substantially for builders and buyers. There should also be a building moratorium. The unbridled growth is not sustainable.

I and my family will also be voting no.

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