Editor:

County government's waste of citizens' money ($300 million-plus) continues via expenditures bearing no relationship to normal service levels or critical modernization of our infrastructure. Result? A bloated, $1 billion annual budget for Charlotte, ranked 29th in population.

Years ago, bureaucrats concocted MSBU/MSTU annual fee extraction from citizens, businesses, churches, NGOs. FY 2017-18: Fees collected, $170 million on top of our property tax, sales tax, license, permit, etc., payments. State sets maximum property tax rates and voters approved a sales tax above Florida's 6 percent. Fee assessments require no voter approval. Three commissioners can dictate unlimited fees. Alert: significant more fees are forthcoming.

Some 45 percent of families annually earn under $40,000. Fees have reached burdensome levels for them. Church assessments represent double taxation. Church members pay fees and when they donate money, once again fees are assessed. Residential renters indirectly pay fees via constant rent increases as leased property owners pass on higher assessments. Small businesses struggle.

What are unaware fee-payers doing to end this tyrannical action? Apparently sleeping, as aggregate annual fee collections continuously accelerate and establishment commissioners unbelievably always get re-elected.

Florida TaxWatch 2018: Charlotte's average annual “per capita fees” of $400 ties Sarasota for first among 67 Florida counties (being 450 percent higher than the average assessment of 55 other much less fee assessed counties).

Solution? Cut county budget, plus Charlotte voters have the right to vote on fees with a positive majority needed before new fees are assessed. We then will truly have government by the people.

If you sleep, you'll pay more without end.

Bill Bigelow

Deep Creek

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