Letters to the Editor

Blame high taxes for lack of affordable housing in Manatee County | Letter to the editor

We wonder why young people and lower-income families can’t afford to live in Manatee County. I contend that our Ccounty commission and school board are partially to blame due to the high level of property taxes they continue to bill us year after year.

Most of these people start in rental housing. Rental properties are not homesteaded. Their assessed value can be increased by up to 10% each year. The annual property taxes on our rental property have been increased by 59% in the last 6 years; 10% per year average. Landlords don’t absorb these increases. They pass the costs on to the renters; making it more and more difficult to find affordable rental properties.

There is no justification for these increases in property taxes. Inflation in this period has been in the 2% range. Population growth in the c ounty has increased only 13% in this time period; only 2% per year. Arguably, the property taxes should be coming down, not up, as we spread the fixed costs over a larger and larger base. But not with our “tax and spend” elected leaders.

There appears to be little focus on how to make things more efficient to lower costs and a lot of focus on how they can find more revenue sources (taxes) and then figure out what they can spend it on. We can all think of wasteful spending projects they’ve done simply because they had the money and needed to spend it.

When will we start electing county commissioners and school board members who have the business experience to run these large organizations in a cost effective basis and live within the resources they have, like their constituents have to do?

Mike Eiffert