In “How to keep taxes down, and still pay teachers more,” Ed Goff expounded on the Manatee County School Board’s suggested new 1.0 mill tax to give teachers a raise.
“When I heard that, I thought, ‘no way,’” he wrote. “We have just approved a new half-cent tax for the county, extended the half-cent school sales tax for 15 years, and the developers are still getting a discount on impact fees.”
His suggested “better option” is a decrease on the capital improvement tax offset by increased revenue from the sales tax, increased property assessments, and an increase in impact fees to 100 percent, resulting in what he says will be at least $33 million for teacher compensation.
Goff's plan, besides being almost incomprehensible to most voters, could be offset by allowing thoughtfully planned, world-class communities to come to fruition in Manatee County, expanding the tax base by BILLIONS of dollars over the life of the projects.
Insert Aqua by the Bay, a smart, mixed-use community design that will help keep taxes lower, stave off the increase suggested by Goff, and generate a large surplus for schools with negligible impacts on them.
That is something worth considering. Keep in mind, many of the Aqua by the Bay homes will probably be sold to people without school-age children, therefore a double benefit to the school system.
A majority of residents and community leaders work every day in support of vibrant growth of our local economy and community. I am proud to be one voice in that majority, and hope the Aqua by the Bay project will be given the opportunity to further our community’s growth potential. That is a real win.
Dominic A. DiMaio