Archive for the taxes Category

Fourth strike for Hagan

Posted in Economic Development, Hillsborough County, FL, Politics, taxes, Transportation with tags , , , , , on March 4, 2012 by verbumsapienti2

Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan is batting zero in his attempts at hitting a task force home run.

His Transportation Task Force was formed to recommend a Choo-Choo for Tampa.

His I-4 Task Force was formed to recommend paving over east county farmlands at taxpayer expense.

His Economic Development Taskforce was formed to recommend tax breaks for Bass Pro Shop.

Now he wants an Economic Prosperity Stakeholders Task Force formed to recommend taxpayers footing the bills for new roads, sewers, water, and fire and police services in order to “attract new business”.

 All these task forces have simply cost taxpayers a ton of money in outside consultants’ fees.

To paraphrases a line from the movie Blazing Saddles: “We don’t need no stinking task forces.”

Commissioner Sandra Murman didn’t need a task force to start a very successful incentive program to encourage the actual creation of new jobs.

But then maybe we should save Hagan the time, expense and embarrassment of another failed task force and just give him a walk on this one?

After all, according to Hagan, with all the tax and fee cuts already approved by the BOCC over the past few years, The County isn’t bringing in much money from new businesses anyway, so what’s to lose?

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen


Pony first; cart after

Posted in Economic Development, Hillsborough County, FL, taxes, Transportation with tags , , , , , , on March 4, 2012 by

Don’t blame over-burdened, under-employed Hillsborough County residents for the lack of infrastructure in downtown Tampa.

The first to benefit would be downtown businesses and land owners; they should be the first to pony up.

They are the private part of public/private partnerships still sitting on the sidelines waiting for the taxpaying public to load the carts for them.

Once the promised high-wage, good-benefit, full-time jobs materialize, the newly employed will shop, eat, play and live downtown.

Their taxes will then also help fund teachers, police, firefighters and public works.

Pony first; cart after.

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen

None dare call it treason

Posted in Alternative Energy, News, Politics, taxes on March 1, 2012 by

A perverse irony of “free market” capitalism is being exposed.

How do our ultra-right, fiscally-conservative governmental toadies justify forcing private citizens to buy a nuclear power plant for a for-profit company such as Progress Energy?

 Progress Energy functions as a state-sponsored monopoly. Citizens in their service area can only buy electricity from Progress; at rates dictated by Florida lawmakers. Additionally those citizens are being forced to pay for a new nuclear power plant so as to protect the profits given to Progress owners.

How is this different than if The State of Florida gave Ford Motor Company exclusive rights to sell only their cars in Central Florida? Not only would we be forced to buy Ford cars, at prices set by The State, we would also be taxed to pay for any new auto plants Ford wanted to build.

 This is not capitalism, it is called corporatism
and yet none dare call it treason.

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen

Online Tax Rebellion

Posted in Hillsborough County, FL, Opinion, taxes with tags , , , , , on February 22, 2012 by verbumsapienti2

Thanks to the Tampa Tribune for pointing out the absurdity of 50 states (let alone 3,000 counties and 30,000 incorporated municipalities) each trying to collect sales taxes from online merchants. is the Big Dawg out there, and an easy target.

What about the countless other businesses and individuals selling online now but not collecting and remitting sales taxes?

The Florida Use Tax on residents isn’t working.

Maybe it is time to get serious about a national Value Added Tax (VAT).

However, the last time we tried something like that, George Washington wound up leading a federalized militia force of 12,950 men into western Pennsylvania in October 1794 to put down what became known as the Whiskey Rebellion when citizens refused to pay a similar tax.

Do we really want Obama marching on Tallahassee, and how would Hillsborough get its “Half-Penny for Raymond James Stadium”?

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen

Stop exporting U.S. Gasoline

Posted in Alternative Energy, Job-creators, Opinion, Politics, Second American Revolution, taxes with tags , , , , on February 21, 2012 by verbumsapienti2

Gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel are now this country’s largest export.

That’s right.

In 2011, oil refiners in the United States exported an estimated 117 million gallons per day of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and other petroleum products worth $88 billion. 

These fuels are being sold on the “world market” because there is insufficient demand in the U.S. due ironically, to rising gas prices and higher-mileage vehicles being sold.

The Keystone Pipeline, environmental issues not withstanding, would be good for the Canadian oil export companies and good for the U.S. gasoline exporting companies but would have little lasting value to the average citizen.

That oil, once refined in the Gulf states would be sold as gasoline to South America, not North America.

The same issues involve additional oil drilling in the U.S. All that excess gasoline produce would be sold and shipped out of the United Sates, thereby keeping U.S. gas prices high.

Until our benighted elected government representatives ban all exports of U.S. produced oil products, we will have ever higher gas prices at the pumps and see ever higher, obscene profits going to oil companies.

What about it Congress?

Care to pass a law protecting The People of the United States of America instead of the oil companies?

What we have are war-mongering congressmen beating the drums for conflict with Iran, and shutting down their oil production just to further increase the “world market” for gasoline and increase oil companies profits.

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen

On the level?

Posted in Opinion, Politics, taxes with tags , , on February 17, 2012 by verbumsapienti2

black hole moneyThe Florida Senate Banking and Insurance Committee is pushing for a sales tax on e-commerce to “level the playing field” so that online retailers do not have an unfair tax advantage over in-state brick-and-mortar retailers.

Well and good, supposing that the state can figure out to collect it voluntarily from out of state companies, when the state cannot even collect online sales taxes from existing Florida tax laws.

It is projected that this could bring an additional $454 million into the state to pay for things like education, highways and health care.

But no; Senate Republicans want to declare a $454 million tax “holiday”, giving Florida retailers a huge advantage over e-commerce businesses.

How is this a “level playing field”?

How does this balance the budget; reduce the deficit?

How does this help Florida provide services to its citizens?

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen

Prisons for Profit

Posted in Job-creators, Second American Revolution, taxes, Tea Party with tags , , on February 13, 2012 by verbumsapienti2

Did the Tampa Bay Times edit out Brad Swanson’s reasons why Florida is spending too much on prisons?

He says we need to do “something different” to cure recidivism, but he doesn’t say how privatizing prisons is the answer.

He says that privatizing prisons will save taxpayers 7%, but doesn’t say how these companies can operate the prisons with less money, and still squeeze out new profits.

He says that existing correctional officers won’t lose their jobs, but doesn’t say what those new jobs will pay, or what benefits they will have to give up.

Without these answers included in his comments, it appears that this plan is designed only to enrich investors at the expense of the rest of us.

Has anyone thought about first trying to fix what we have before we hand off it off to someone else wanting to profit on what we should be able to do better ourselves?

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen