Still taxing

Pasco County adopted its fiscal 2019 budget without increasing the general fund property tax millage rate. But before we applaud this, we need to note that there was a huge increase in the amount of funding the county will receive from non-ad valorem taxes.

These non-ad valorem tax levies are at the bottom of your county tax bill and include charges for things such as street lights and stormwater. While there are statutory protections on how much property taxes can be increased and have homestead exemptions, these non-ad valorem taxes have no such protections and can be raised at will.

Included in non-ad valorem taxes are municipal services benefit units, which are taxes on specific property owners. These MSBUs tax these specific owners at the same rate, so a home worth $50,000 pays the same rate as one worth $500,000. This is regressive, since the impact of low-income people, who can afford it the least, is much greater.

So, rather than increase the property tax rate as a whole, the county uses the MSBUs to target areas for this unequal and unfair taxation — and all without the protection afforded homestead property.

Mitchell Kobernick

New Port Richey

Amazing

It always amazes me that with all the rules, laws and safeguards regarding voting, why the wrong-doers are not in jail? Now 82, I have watched this country and the state of Florida go from the Rule of Law, to the Rule of the almighty dollar. What good are the laws anymore? Where are the law enforcement people? Are they all lawyers?

This problem goes from things as simple as a person refusing a court-ordered instruction with impunity, to the fake money system we have been saddled with.

Oh yes, health care. As a conservative, I am ashamed that the Republicans didn’t overturn Obamacare. But guess what? The Republicans are not much different from the Democrats when it comes to health care. Obama Care was designed to promote more handouts. In truth, there was very little wrong with the original form of health care I grew up in. Before Medicare, anyone could afford a doctor’s visit and insurance was cheap. As a retired health insurance agent, pre-existing conditions was the worst of it. That could have been handled easily.

James Lee

Tarpon Springs