How would you handle a tight budget year? Would you consider increasing fees to offset lost tax revenue?

Raising taxes in times of a recession (or a depression) is a recipe for further recession.  All non-essential services and practices would have to be considered for suspension before putting any further burden on people who are having hard enough times. Drastic times call for drastic measures and needs must come before wants. The government should operate the same way an individual household has to be run with food, clothing and shelter coming before entertainment and luxuries.

Do you believe that further statewide sales tax and property tax reform is needed in order to better serve Florida’s citizens? Do you support the Fire Rescue Surtax?

All options for fairness and effective use of taxing should always be evaluated.  A “fair tax” plan by which everyone living in or visiting Florida pays an equal amount/percentage and that does not inhibit “portability” is a desired goal. Any change to the current system would need to provide for  a method of forecasting a revenue amount that is a bankable number upon which to base a budget. A new taxing method would have to be a replacement to the surety of projected revenue that the present property tax system offers.

The current Fire Rescue Surtax had legality issues and some fundamental flaws. If it does return in 2012, it will have to be evaluated on the merits it has at that time.

Would you support or oppose a proposal to create a new tax, or a new dedicated tax revenue source for TriRail?

The Fire Rescue tax that was just proposed and now postponed for legal issues, had a series of flaws that may have outweighed the benefits. The details of a TriRail proposal  would have to be carefully weighed to ensure the fairness and effectiveness of the plan. I would evaluate any such proposal on the merits of that plan.

With the growth of the county’s tax base in recent years, would you support some method of limiting future spending (a form of TABOR), or do you think the county budget should expand to equal the revenue? Explain.

I would support a form of TABOR. T. Boone Pickens said if a person can’t live on their salary, they can’t live on 90% of it either. 10% of all earnings should go to savings. A form of this rule can apply to County government as well. Spending should never have an unlimited potential and sound rules of solvency need to apply. An increase in revenue does not automatically equal an increase in spending. We are now experiencing what increasing spending in times of increased revenues has done to our current and projected County budget.