Taxpayer Dollar Defense

Paid political advertisement. Paid for and approved by Linda McKinney 6025 Keystone Ave. Port St. John, FL 32927

Paid electioneering communication paid for by Linda McKinney 6025 Keystone Ave. Port St. John, FL 32927

Paid political advertisement. Paid for and approved by Linda McKinney 6025 Keystone Ave. Port St. John, FL 32927. No candidate approved this advertisement.

In Maureen Rupe's latest pooperpaper article (Happenings, Issue 218, July 2008) and in her FAQs website link, "Follow The Money", she asserts that our taxes have not gone up. I know she would love to have everyone believe that; but that's just not the case. She's playing the old "if you say it often enough it becomes the truth" game. If she says it, and quotes someone else saying the same thing, you will believe it. It's like the "Bellman" character in Lewis Carroll's nonsense poem, "The Hunting of the Snark" in which Bellman asserts that if he says anything three times, his crew must believe him. Maureen Rupe links to an organization that supports Florida counties in whatever they wish to do. In fact, it is the Florida Association of Counties.

This association believes so strongly in supporting the counties of Florida that they say things like:

"The Florida Association of Counties strongly opposes any move by the Legislature to statutorily cap the revenues that local governments can raise..." -- Florida Association of Counties, FACT SHEET "Tax Caps Are Not the Answer; They Will Only Make Things Worse"
But I see nowhere on that Fact Sheet that states that they support the citizens of any county deciding to put a tax cap on their own county government, on how much their taxes can be raised in one fiscal year, or any other such statement. They support the county government doing so (has anyone ever seen such a miracle?), but they do not support the citizens doing so. To wit (same fact sheet): "While recognizing our citizens need property tax relief, we believe any major statewide changes to the property tax system should be considered by the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission—not rushed to voters as a special election ballot." Voters shouldn't get a say in it until every governmental agency has their fair say before the citizens do.

They have handouts and Fact Sheets and Talking Points to consider. One of those Fact Sheets is titled, "Counties at Risk: The Special Challenges for Florida’s Small Counties". Within that Fact Sheet, they have this line,

"With lower property values than the rest of the state, small counties already have a higher percentage of their property off the tax rolls thanks to the $25,000 homestead exemption and agricultural land use designations."
Notice how they blame the Homestead Exemption instead of the fact that -- probably even in small counties -- quite a bit of the taxable properties have been taken off the tax rolls in order to make them "preservation" or "conservation" lands; EELs type programs have removed their county income from the tax rolls? They blame you the taxpayer, who got a break from the State Legislature, and who is getting stuck with the bill for all of this county largesse, for wanting to save some of your money via Homestad Exemption. Isn't that special?

Maureen Rupe quotes an oganization that supports what she believes in: notice her page, "Property Tax Relief" has changed. She used to mention the "Save Our Homes" tax relief as part of the "well intended past efforts" that, according to Maureen Rupe, had "led to the current disparity in assessments that now burdens many of our residents." Now her page no longer mentions the "Save Our Homes" tax break after I mentioned that she hates it so much that she refused to accept it... Wait. No. She didn't refuse to accept it. She accepted the "current disparity" and accepted the tax break. With Maureen Rupe and this organization she is quoting, "Blame the taxpayer first" seems to be the motto. Kind of like the "Blame America First" crowd who hates America and all that America stands for. You can see what I mean by reading two of the Florida Association of Counties' bullet points on their Fact Sheet on small counties, referenced above:

Sounds like the same drummer playing the same beat to me.

According to the Fishkind Study Maureen Rupe quotes, we have all kinds of things to blame besides our County Commissioners as to why our tax revenues have gone up over 140%. There are, according to Maureen Rupe, all those CRAs to account for. But according to the Fishkind Study she quotes, when you look at the Appendixes (on page 1145) she links to, Brevard County's CRAs amounted to about $3.5 million for FY 2005-2006:

"Brevard   $885,031 / $1,327,507 / $1,367,461 / $1,730,236 / $2,083,300 / $2,598,433 / $3,455,837"
(Each of those sets of numbers relates to a new year: 1999-2000, add a year for each new number to 2005-2006.) So we are basically doing three-and-a-half million in CRA payments. That's less than twice what the EELs program just spent on trash swampland in Merritt Island. If we're so broke, how in the world did we come up with that kind of money for that swampland? Anyone smell something besides rotting seagrasses that stinks to high heaven around here? Does that $3.5 million sound to you as though it can be serviced and taken care of by a 140% tax revenue increase to you? (How about more higher than appraised value swampland purchases?) Either way, it can't be just CRAs that are making our BOCC cry "poor as a church mouse" as Maureen Rupe asserts.

Note: In Maureen Rupe's page, "Where Did the Money Go?" she quotes $121.9 million as the CRA costs, leading people to think it is Brevard County only. Wrong and misleading. If you look at the description of Table E5 on page 3 (their numbers: page 4 on my .pdf reader; actual table on page 4/5) in the Fishkind Report, it clearly states, "Table E5 summarizes the findings from the survey of Florida counties." That is counties, plural. Not just Brevard County, all sixty-seven counties in Florida. Very misleading of Maureen Rupe, but that's what one has come to expect of her. Again, great D1 Commissioner material here: someone who misleads and obfuscates.

How about the "Unfunded Mandates" she touts? Could it be those? Remember the link she gave to get the info for that? Does it say anything in there about how much counties are spending on healthcare every year? Did it say anything at all about how much they need to increase their taxes in order to be able to afford healthcare? No? Well, I never... I never saw such a nonsensical way of sending you down a garden path. According to Maureen Rupe's own link, Medicaid across the board for the sixty-seven counties comes to $213 million divided by sixty-seven: $3,179,104 per year (approximately) per county. Again, not something that is totally unmanageable -- if you're not spending all your money making lasting homes for swamp rats.

So if it's not CRAs and Medicaid, what is it that our money is being spent on? Could it be that the Brevard County Commissioners decided that it was time to rock and roll two years ago because they had all this windfall "profit" and the bubble was never going to burst and it was time to party hearty? Now, after the bubble burst, property values are falling and the reality of the housing bubble's little -- sorry, I should say huge -- pop! is setting in, that the people who supported that spending spree and supported higher taxes in the first place (remember Maureen Rupe never met a tax/fee/rate increase she didn't like and she sued to stop CAPIT) are trying to cover up their "little faux pas"? They're screaming at the top of their lungs, "It's not our fault! We did nothing wrong!" and some people -- and associations -- are supporting their "not guilty" pleas.

In supporting the idea of our taxes not having gone up "I know that’s not correct." (Maureen Rupe, third sentence on her "Where Did the Money Go?" page), Maureen Rupe is adding to the irresponsibility of the county government for not sticking to a budget that is realistic, not sticking to the wishes of the taxpayers (a 73.4% countywide voter approval on CAPIT), and supporting the BOCC in not wanting to do the right thing in doing away with some of their tax and spend and spend and spend votes.

Instad of suing the County to stop CAPIT, Maureen Rupe should have done something that would never enter her mind: find a way to fix it so that the wishes of the taxpayers of Brevard County were honored and CAPIT was still on the books, without the constitutional conflict that was supposedly found in it. She could have encouraged that action. There was always that choice, but she chose not to use it. Maureen Rupe chose instead to sue the County in order to remove CAPIT from the books, wasting taxpayers dollars and hitting the "delete" button on the wishes of 74% of the taxpayers of Brevard. Is that the kind of D1 County Commissioner you want?

Paid electioneering communication paid for by Linda McKinney 6025 Keystone Ave. Port St. John, FL 32927

Paid political advertisement. Paid for and approved by Linda McKinney 6025 Keystone Ave. Port St. John, FL 32927

Paid political advertisement. Paid for and approved by Linda McKinney 6025 Keystone Ave. Port St. John, FL 32927. No candidate approved this advertisement.

Now available:

images/nomr4.jpg images/nomr5.jpg images/nomr6.jpg /images/nomr7.jpg /images/nomr8.jpg images/nomr10.jpg /images/nomr11.jpg /images/nomr12.jpg /images/nomr13.jpg

Coming Soon!


Home; Tribute; D1 Race; Maureen Rupe Rebuttal Pages; No Maureen Rupe 1; No Maureen Rupe 2; No Maureen Rupe 3; No Maureen Rupe 4;
No Maureen Rupe 5; No Maureen Rupe 6; No Maureen Rupe 7; No Maureen Rupe 8; No Maureen Rupe 9; No Maureen Rupe 10; No Maureen Rupe 11; No Maureen Rupe 12; No Maureen Rupe 13;
Writers; B'Ann's Writings;
Government Links; Al Yorston's Questionnaire; J. Roger Shealy's Questionnaire; PSJ Info; Religion; Services; Politics; My Links; My Blog "True Conservative" Defined

Editorial Cartoons: PSJ Incorporation; Disclaimer...; "Strong Managed Growth": More to come!

Remember: Anyone who does not give you a wake-up call when they see you being stupid, self-destructive, or both, just plain doesn't care about you. It's those of us who do wake you up who care.

This website created by, maintained by and copyright 2008 by Linda McKinney; because Freedom isn't Free, but speech supposedly is!
Do NOT copy without prior written permission from the author.