To the editor:
I have never been one to write to the editor, but after reading about the proposed Fire Assessment, I felt compelled to do so.
It is evidently not enough that the Cape Coral City Council voted to impose a discriminatory tax on our electric bills for "improvements that will (supposedly) benefit all property owners." Yet the only people who will be impacted by this discriminatory tax will be those who had the audacity to improve their property-businesses and homeowners. Meanwhile, those with undeveloped lots will skate and pay nothing. Lot owners will realize the same theoretical benefits as residents and businesses, yet they pay nothing. This is considered "fair" in they eyes of the Council? Evidently.
Now they are planning on hitting the already overburdened taxpayers with yet another tax. again which will unfairly target homeowners and businesses. Their pathetic "plan" is to use the property assessments to determine what the taxes will be for any specific property. Again, this is grossly unfair. Those who have a 1500-square-foot home in the Yacht Club area or the areas around Tarpon Point, justifiably have a higher assessment than those who live, say, in the northwest Cape. Yet property assessments for that same size home in the northwest Cape are significantly lower. So you tell me how it is "fair" to use property assessments to determine who will pay what"
The only "fair" way to assess this tax, and they seem intent on imposing this, should be by the square footage of the home or business-regardless of where it is located. To do otherwise is grossly unfair. It takes no more effort to put out a fire in a 1500-square-foot house in the Yacht Club area than it does in the northwest Cape. Yet those who live in these higher assessed areas will be unfairly taxed at a much higher rate for no additional benefits. But our "beloved" City Council evidently thinks we have unlimited resources they are intent on taking. What's a few hundred dollars more-that seems to be their attitude.
Originally coming from another state, when I see brand new several hundred thousand dollar fire trucks and fancy fire stations around virtually every bend, I see nothing but waste and rampant spending. When I see a fire truck driving down the road, it is inevitably followed by one of the very expensive ambulances you folks decided to buy instead of something more modest but equally functional-I see a "nothing but the best for our city" mentality.
And reality is, we seldom hear about fires in the Cape, so hearing about this new tax-and it is a tax-just adds insult to injury. If you are going to spend money on something, do a study to see whether we have too many fire resources and if so, shut down and sell fire stations and sell equipment we really don't need. Everyone out in the real world has had to cut back-the City needs to do the same. Instead of looking for ways to take more of our money-look for ways to cut spending. Remember, it is NOT your money you are spending.
The tax on our electric bills unfairly discriminates against those who chose to develop their property.
And now you want to do it again with the "Fire Assessment." I have no problem paying my fair share, but when I see policies that clearly discriminate against and penalize those that chose to live here and develop their property, I have to express my outrage.