Wednesday, November 04, 2015

79,100% ROI: Developers' Tax Increase Approved by 60% Vote in Low-Turnout Election -- $21.91/vote

Developers and their crew invested a mere $189,175 -- $11.26 per pro-tax vote (21,314 votes)--- to escape $150,000,000 in impact fees and concurrency by raising sales taxes 8%, a half-penny on every dollar.
Shrewd developers are making sales taxpayers pay the cost of their massive overbuilding.
Does that work out to an ROI (a return on their investment) of 79,100%?
That ROI  does not include the $200,000 citizens paid to hold an unnecessary, one-item special election in an off-year election, with only one (1) proposition on the ballot.
Adding that , it cost an additional $10.65 for every one of the 21,314 votes received for the tax increase.
That makes a total of some $21.91 spent to euchre, cajole and con every one of  the 21,314 pro-tax votes in our low-turnout, low-information, high-stakes, high-payoff special election.
Only one developer-driven candidate has ever spent more than that, KAREN STERN (T-Toll Brothers), at $25.30/vote in 2006, and STERN lost).
It's our money.
The technical term for this cynical political process is "manufacturing consent," in words of Noam Chomsky of MIT.
Burghers put a $150 million tax increase on the ballot, and nothing else.
Nothing else.
With one billion dollars in local government costs annually here in St. Johns County, St. Augustine and St. Augustine Beach, there's still no Inspector General, Ombuds or Public Advocate.
Wonder why?
Why no ballot provision on creating an  Inspector General, Ombuds or Public Advocate?
Ask Sheriff DAVID BERNERD SHOAR f/k/a "HOAR" (R-Palookaville) and his developer crew, laughing all the way to banks today.

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