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Tax Day And Satellite Beach City Council Meeting.

(image courtesy of Dave Coverly at speedbump.com)

(image courtesy of Dave Coverly at speedbump.com)

Today of course is April 15, which is the final day for getting your federal taxes done (unless you have applied for an extension.) to “celebrate” (or ease the pain) some establishments are offering deals on free or reduced food, services, and items. (Our favorite deal might be Sonny’s BBQ offering am “IRS” (Irresistible Rib Special) where barbeque rib meals are half price. Other merchants include Pizza Hut, McDonalds, Boston Market, and Sonics. A more complete list of deals (including free shredding of up to 5 pounds of documents at Staples (coupon required) and offerings can be found here.


Also tonight the Satellite Beach City Council will host a regular meeting starting at 7:00 PM.

The meeting agenda can be found here while the support packet can be found here.

The Council will be passing the utility tax, adding to the tax burden.

There is something to be said for the irony of the City Council second vote to increase taxes on its residents on April 15.

Hope to see you at the meeting.



13 Responses to “Tax Day And Satellite Beach City Council Meeting.”

  1. CRA Resident says:

    Tonight the same cast of whiners will come to the podium and complain about how they hate to fund improvements, improvement that are necessary to keep our infrastructure from crumbling even further. They do this without putting forward any suggestion or solutions on how this can be accomplished differently. So I want to borrow a line from NJ Gov. Chris Christie “Sit down and shut up” Have a blessed day!

    • AAfterwit says:

      CRA Resident,

      Thanks for the comment.

      Your comment has a faulty premise right off the bat. There is nothing that you, me, the citizens, or the City Government can do to prevent the “infrastructure from crumbling even further.” There is no magic wand that can be bought and waived to prevent anything from degrading. To say that people are against addressing infrastructure is factually wrong.

      What you are seeing and hearing are people that are against the ways and the methods the City is using to address the issues.

      When this ordinance passes tonight, this will be the second time in a year that the City Council has voted to take more money from the pockets of citizens. When the City Council voted to keep the same mileage rate, the increase in property values resulted in a increase in tax revenue for the City. When the mileage rate was passed above what was initially proposed the Mayor and several members of the City Council said the increase was to pay for infrastructure improvements.

      Now the Council is coming back for a second bite into the taxpayer wallet. Are they doing this because their justification for the mileage rate was wrong? Did they miscalculate?

      The utility tax increase is to fund a project in Desoto as well as infrastructure. When first proposed, there were several statements that caught our ears. First, City Manager Barker and Public Works Head Alan Potter both said that no cities in Brevard County were looking to repave streets this year. Palm Bay was singled out because it is the largest city and was not planning or resurfacing streets this year. What was left unsaid for some unknown reason is that other cities in Brevard, including Palm Bay, were planning resurfacing and infrastructure projects just as Satellite Beach is doing. It was as if Satellite Beach believes it is in a race with other communities when it is not. Instead of looking and seeing why other cities aren’t taking the same leap off the funding bridge the City Council is proposing, the City seems to be proud that it is reaching into the pockets of citizens a second time this year.

      As Councilwoman Gott has constantly reminds people, there is no ordinance that is passed by the City Council that cannot be rescinded. That is true, but the City is not looking at an ordinance for financing. The utility tax increase is to pay for a loan. The next City Council cannot come in and say “we want to get rid of the loan” and have it wiped off the books. Therefore a loan supported by a tax increase should be looked at long and hard.

      When Barker presented the idea of a loan, she claimed the payment would be roughly $225,000 per year over the course of 15 years. The principle on the loan is $2.5 million dollars. The total amount paid back (15 years times $225,000) is 3,375,000. Over the course of the loan, the residents will be paying $875,000 in interest.

      At the same meeting, Potter said the average cost of repairing / resurfacing a road is $30,000 – $40,000 dollars. We want to be generous and take into account inflation so assume for a moment that each road surfacing project over the course of the 15 year loan averages out to be $50,000 per project.

      That means that instead of actually using money to pave roads, the City is paying the equivalent of 17.5 road projects over the course of the 15 year loan. That is over one road project per year. Councilman Montenaro constantly reminds people the City has not paved a road since 2007 when the government was trying to repave a new project every three years.

      The math is a little fuzzy, but using the City’s own numbers and statements from City Council members, the City is giving away over 50 years of resurfacing projects in interest.

      A second point of consideration is that the City has constantly said that it’s number one priority is to increase the City Reserves in case there is a catastrophic event that hits the City. That was part of the platform Catino, Gott and Brimer ran on in 2012. While the City says replenishing the reserves is on track, that doesn’t mean the City should not get reserves back to mandated level as quickly as possible. Instead, not only is the City not taking increased revenue to raise the reserves, they are actually increasing the amount needed for the reserves as the loan payment would be a part of the money required to have on hand so the City could pay its bills if that catastrophic event took place. It’s a double whammy for the citizens as not only are they paying more in taxes, they are getting less for those taxes due to interest payments as well as having to increase the reserves.

      The path the City has chosen is fraught with danger and harms citizens more than is necessary.

      Lastly, there seems to be some logically fallacy that you and the City Council hold to that if there is no better idea, then the City should go forward with their plans. That thinking assumes that the goal of repairing everything right now is a noble, logical and correct goal. It is not only the plans that must be looked at, but the goals as well.

      We would recommend a slow down or at least lowering the goals. The City has two “new” sources of funding – the increased income from the mileage rate and the loan for the Schechter Center being paid off. Those two sources are more than enough to get the City on a path to repair and repave the streets that need the work immediately without giving money away for interest and an increase in the reserve levels.

      The money is there for limited, planned, steady repair of the streets in Satellite Beach. In our opinion such an option is better than taking more money from the people for a 15 year loan where the city and its citizens get less than if they did not procure the loan in the first place.

      Have a great day.

      A. Afterwit.

      • CRA Resident says:

        You were very long winded on that response, I bet your glad you moved to Cocoa Beach so you would not get hit with higher taxes OH wait you never paid taxes into the city coffers.

        • AAfterwit says:

          Thanks for your response.

          It is what we expected and will give it all the consideration it is due.

          A. Afterwit.

  2. Good Riddance says:

    It is very interesting to have someone who NEVER has paid any tax to the City of Satellite Beach as a resident and now lives in Cocoa Beach, dictating what Satellite Beach is doing wrong and his method is right. You are now right there in the class of the guy who claimed he lived in Satellite Beach but actually was a resident of IHB who used to attend the meetings.
    Smarter minds than yours have given this much more objective thought than yours, AND are tax payers themselves and have developed a solution which seems right for the City of Satellite Beach. Other than you there are less than a handful, influenced by you, who think the plan is wrong. Count how many TAX PAYING citizens are attending the meetings and are unhappy. The last two meetings it was less than a few.
    It would be nice if you would spend all of you time now on Cocoa Beach business since you now live there. (probably not paying taxes though)

    • AAfterwit says:

      What a shock. A person who posted before that they would never return here is commenting again.

      May we suggest you look up “sock puppet?”

      Your comment, as always, will be given all the consideration it is due.

  3. JD says:

    Funny how this council and their cronies believe that that tax payers /residents need to come up with solutions (in lieu of increasing taxes) to pay for the crumbling infrastructure. Perhaps had the long standing council done their job the many, many , many years they were in office the city wouldn’t be in this position today.
    Gott -10 years + (city council) Brimer-10 years (city council , mayor) Monternaro-10 years+ (council council) Catino -10 years+ (city council , mayor)

    That’s forty + years of government experience (running this fine city) and our roads are crumbling…tax, tax , tax , borrow , borrow , borrow… this is the MO of the these elected officials and the two City Managers they have hired.
    BTW Council woman Gott rented on Park Avenue when she served on previously served on council in the 80’s. She didn’t pay property tax but she sure as hell voted to raised back them…ironic don’t you think?

    • AAfterwit says:

      JD,

      Thanks for the comment.

      Most people can see through the smog of the “not paying taxes” meme thrown out by others. It is as if they think that if a person is renting property, the landlord is magically going to eat taxes on the property instead of passing them along in to the leasee. They cannot understand that higher taxes get passed on to consumers at local stores as well.

      Those seeking to not deal with issues seem to think that people who rent properties don’t pay utility taxes because as renters, they never use any water, gas, electric, phone or any other utility.

      Clearly reality and common sense is missing in their arguments, but then again, if all you have is a nonsensical argument, you might as well try to throw it out there thinking there are people who will buy into the lunacy.

      A. Afterwit.

    • CRA Resident says:

      20 to 30 years ago the city’s infrastructure was not in the condition it is in today. Just think if past councils would have tried to make upgrades back then, just imagine the uproar it would have caused, it would have been why are we fixing something that is not broken, and now it is and there is still an uproar. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

      • AAfterwit says:

        Of course, the issue is not the infrastructure itself, but the financial methods being used to maintain it.

        With the City’s plan, you get less for the buck with higher taxes and fees.

        That’s not a good plan.

        A. Afterwit.

  4. Mel Bch Resident says:

    Does anyone question why governments are so anxious to bond out debt ? 5%-6% of the value of the loan goes to legal fees, loan origination fees, etc. Then there’s the annual interest payments. One could surmise that a piece of that money gets spread around to campaign contributions and other “worth while” programs thru lobbyists and other channels. . . . . I’m jus’ sayin’

    • CRA Resident says:

      One could surmise the same could have happened with the single source no bid contract that was awarded to the south Florida company that former councilwoman Denan pushed thru for the CRA. I’m jus’ sayin’

      • AAfterwit says:

        I am not sure what you are surmising but for the record, we said at the time and still maintain the no bid contract was the wrong thing to do and did the taxpayers a disservice.

        It’s the same thing here. As the money is being taken from people at the point of the government sword, there is a duty to make sure the money is spent in the most effective manner.

        We’ve been consistent on that point irrespective of who is sitting on the dais. (Jus’ sayin’)

        A. Afterwit.

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