In a stunning show of support to hit Palm Beach County residents with $100 million in new taxes each year, commissioners will soon consider a proposal by their County Administrator Robert Weisman. The proposal was put forth at Tuesday's Board of County Commissioners meeting. This was after nearly one half hour was wasted on county commission feel good proclamations which do nothing to move the county forward. On the table would be an 8.3% increase in the county's sales tax because, according to Weisman, the county can't keep its spending under control with $4 billion of taxpayer money each year. For the proposal to take root, the commissioners would need to approve to put it on the November, 2014 general election ballot. Republican and Democratic commissioners said they are will to consider a proposal. Weisman expects to put forth a formal proposal to the commission by year's end.
Commissioners approved $23 million in additional spending which mostly went to Ric Bradshaw's county sheriff's office in the most recent budget last month. The sheriff's office remains the county's largest operational expense which many feel could be dramatically reduced to make room for road improvements. Some local media have reported there was no tax increase for the budget, however this is not accurate. The millage remained the same, however the taxes were raised by $23 million (see photo).
Although the business community, along with groups such as the Libertarian Party of Palm Beach County and the Palm Beach County Taxpayer Action Board, have been relatively quiet lately regarding the county's budget, this will likely get them motivated to take action against those commissioners supporting such an effort. Such groups feel the county government should live within the $4 billion budget and many feel the county government could do a better job to reduce the taxes imposed on residents as well as visitors to the county. These groups were successful in 2010 by thwarting a proposed sales tax increase and these groups have grown in number so they are likely to succeed again to stop the county government from reaching deeper into the pockets of county residents.
Local libertarians feel residents should keep more of their earned money and not be forced to give it to the bloated county government. From the Libertarian Party of Palm Beach County's website, "The Libertarian Party is working every day to cut your taxes. By contrast, professional politicians from the other parties just want more of your money, and are busy increasing the size of government."