Taxpayers need to hold on to their checkbooks. Manatee County commissioners are just commencing their summer break but we cannot relax. New taxes are being presented for their approval upon the commissioners' return. They cannot miss a beat on new taxes.
First issue has been presented in a proposal by Dr. Craig Trigueiro to bring forth a half-cent sales tax increase referendum which he says will sunset in six years for evaluation. Evaluation -- yea!
Taxpayers, have you ever seen a tax go away in the sunset? Dr. Trigueiro tells us it will produce $26 million per year. That is probably so but why can't the county live within its means like us?
Of course, the sad part is Commissioners Vanessa Baugh, Carol Whitmore, Betsy Benac and Charles Smith indicated that this is a splendid idea per a June 12 Bradenton Herald article.
Dr. Trigueiro wants to raise the fund for private physicians who provide specialty care and that increase would be from $1 million to $2 million. Dream on, doc, but whatever happened to the hospital's corporate funds? Universal Health Corporation (owner of Manatee Memorial Hospital) showed a profit of $345 million last year with a 26 percent increase in the first quarter of 2015.
Wow, who needs our money?
County Administrator Ed Hunzeker has already placed funding in the health budget for 2015/2016.
Second issue was proposed by Commissioner Smith to increase by one mill the tax for unincorporated municipal services upon Manatee taxpayers. This purpose is for street lights in every neighborhood in Manatee County. The tentative maximum millage rate will be set on July 30 so beware residents and snowbirds.
Ed Hunzeker can certainly find this money somewhere in that huge administration building.
Donna Hayes, former Manatee County commissioner