President Jimmy Carter said America's tax system is "a disgrace to the human race." That was 1977.
Today, in 2022, 45 years later, the same can be said about our tax system in Florida, second worst in our Nation -- a regressive tax system that asks corporations to benefit from our labor.
In 1970, Florida elected Reubin O'Donovan Askew as Governor, and adopted a corporate income tax in our State Constitution. Then corporations and their legislative lackeys adopted a new legal critter -- Limited Liability Companies, which are exempt from corporate income taxes. Governor Askew's progressive tax system was essentially derailed and destroyed by louche lobbyists.
But misguided Republican politicians always favor the wealthy and corporations here in Flori-DUH.
Meanwhile, our Boy Governor and legislature pursue an agenda of Kulturkampf, riling up their base.
Meanwhile, our unfair tax system would get worse if voters approve a 15%+ sales tax increase here,
Courageous St. Johns County Commissioner Paul Waldron (with eyeglasses in photo above), rightly dissented from worsening this unfair system.
But four out of five of our current St. Johns County Commissioners (the ordinarily logical fair-minded Chairman I. Henry Dean, and other-directed colleagues JEREMIAH BLOCKER, SARAH ARNOLD and CHRISTIAN WHITEHURST voted to favor developers by picking your pockets, putting an extravagant 15%+ sales tax increase on the November 8, 2022 ballot for "infrastructure."
The County Commission's 2022 tax increase discussion was unadorned by any self-insight or efforts to improve the quality of our mismanaged County government:
- no body-worn cameras and no dashboard cameras for Sheriff's deputies,
- no Ombudsman to protect the public interest,
- no truly independent Inspector General with whistleblower protections,
- no checks and balances on County Administrator's largely unchecked powers,
- no lobbyist registration,
- no County Ethics Commission,
- no Charter Review Commission,
- no Environmental Review Commission,
- no legislative staff for Commissioners,
- no restoration of non-agenda public comment rights at the beginning of meetings.
We saw how local burghers manipulated 2015 off-year special election passage of a half-penny sales tax increase "for the schools" was really "for the developers."
Corporate welfare is the number one priority of Florida Republicans and those who own and control that party.
It is especially vicious and vacuous here in St. Johns County, wealthiest county in the State of Florida, where money is doled out to unnecessary "incentives" for corporations, while very little is done to alleviate government-caused inequality and suffering by poor and working people here.
In 2015, greedy, land-raping developers "worse than any carpetbagger," as for Commission Chair Ben Rich, Sr. once called them, were relieved of some $150,000,000.00 to $200,000,000.00 in impact fees and property taxes over ten years -- a rate of return of at least 33,200% on their $87,000 investment in a propaganda campaign for a one-issue 2015 ballot.
When impact fees were last revised in 2018:
- developers were given "credit" for taxes they did not pay -- the sales tax increase!
- no impact fees were required for commercial development, based upon spurious logic of wanting to encourage more commercial development.
Our County does not employ a full-time economist.
In framing maladroit impact fee schemes, our County has repeatedly hired a retired law professor, who is not a lawyer, but a conflicted economist who worked for landowners.
Our County government listens to what it calls "stakeholders," truly"snakeholders," devotees of corporate oligarchy.
Our squalid County government satraps deserve to hear from us loud and clear.
When you see developer-caused ugliness, clogged roads, deforestation, wildlife killing, wetland-filling, and metastatic "growth," remember the cause: massive statewide corruption from developer$' campaign ca$h.
When you get your 2022 ballot, you will know what to do.
Vote no on sales tax increase.
Tell your Commissioners and legislators we want tax reform, not further tax deform.
Enough flummery, dupery and nincompoopery from the JERMIAH BLOCKERs of the world, unjust stewards serving the interests of oligarchs and oligopolists.