This is a notice to citizens of St. Johns County; you are being targeted by a massive clandestine campaign to let the County get their hands into your wallets and purses. And I am here to warn you about what is happening. Of course, I will explain.
This week I received a flier in the mail, and I’ll bet you all received one, too. It says in big red, white and blue glossy pages, “VOTE YES.” What’s missing? Simply, the question, vote yes on what?
This is a paid advertisement by a group called “Better Schools, Better Economy, Brighter Futures. Isn’t THAT special? Wow, utopia must be right around the corner!
High quality, patriotic colors, numerous platitudes – all right there in the flyer in everyone’s mailbox. Missing? Any explanation of what they are touting; lifestyle, educational excellence, and a brighter future? OK, great, right? What do they mean?
A tax increase! They didn’t say that, though.
As a resident of St. Johns County for a large share of my adult life, I have seen tax increase proposals over and over. And they have failed. The people who advocated them got un-elected. Good for us! By the way, remember the scare tactics about Save Our Homes? While it may hurt some people who are newly arrived in the area, it had to be passed to reign in the profligate spending by our elected officials. I wish it weren’t so.
Despite all the promises over the years, after the voters rejected the tax increases, here is what the flier claimed about St. Johns County Schools (these are true, by the way):
- First in state in reading
- First in the state in math
- First in the state in science
- Big leads in college readiness, SAT scores, ACT scores, AP exams and graduation rates
How could it be that we are so good, since we have rejected all those tax increases for decades?
Is it “different this time?” That is one of the phrases that I most often reject.
Generalizing for a moment, let’s look at the liberal takeover of the American language:
- The term “investing” now apparently means taxing and spending (Clintonesque)
- “Prepare for the 21st century” means what, that we are stuck in 1999? Have you seen the beautiful new schools? Were you listening to the previous description of our current situation?
- A promised Citizen Advisory Panel promises to monitor and review all expenditures, but wouldn’t they be appointed by the very liberals who are touting this boondoggle? Is the fox guarding the henhouse?
If you live in Florida or South Georgia, you most likely know that St. Johns County schools are the envy of the State. People flock here from everywhere to take advantage of the school system. They build beautiful homes and pay significant property taxes. And when our kids have graduated, most of us stay here and pay property taxes to support the next generation of students.
What keeps us here? Partly the sales tax rate, which is 6%, compared to Duval County’s 7%. This group wants it raised. How do I know? Two key phrases from the flyer. First, “All of the money stays in St. Johns County,” and second, “Up to 40% of new revenue paid for by tourists.”
That, folks, can mean only one thing – a sales tax increase.
At my age I have developed a lot of opinions about a wide range of subjects. One of my opinions that never changes is that politicians are to be watched VERY closely by the taxpayers who pay the ultimate bill. Another considered opinion is that when someone is trying to sell you something that isn’t necessarily good for you, or if they aren’t so proud of what they are doing that they can call it what it is, RUN! Right after you vote “NO.”
Many of you have heard me rail about annuity salespeople who will try to sell you annuities, but they never use the word annuity. Why? Aren’t they proud of the “solutions” that they are providing to your customers? Why doesn’t the flier say that it is a sales tax increase?
Always watch for the signs that something may not be right. When in doubt, call the show, or call Van Wie Financial at 904-685-1505 and schedule a meeting to discuss what you have seen. It could save your financial future.