The Manatee County Commissioners are back rattling their tin cup for a half percent sales tax increase. When they tried to do this three years ago, the story was that indigent health care would collapse if we did not approve the increase.
It was such an emergency that they even spent hundreds of thousands of our tax dollars to put it on the ballot in a special election in August instead of waiting three months for the general election. The tax referendum failed, but somehow indigent care has continued.
The new tax increase proposal purports to tell us exactly how they will spend the money. Oddly enough not one dollar is allocated to indigent health care. Did all the indigent residents of Manatee County move to Sarasota? Of course, once the commissioners get their hands on our money, they can spend it any way they choose each year, so those goodies in the spending plan may never happen.
Meanwhile, we are assured that a budget catastrophe awaits in 2018 unless this is approved. Based on the county commissioners’ track record, should we believe them? It’s up to you, the voters of Manatee County, to decide.
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