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Questioning the referendum

on Wednesday, 20 February 2019. Posted in Letters to the Editor, Opinions

I am writing to suggest that owners of residential rental and commercial property think twice before voting for the Florence District One Referendum.

In 2018 the tax per $100,000 for my personal residence was $323.23 while the tax on a commercial building that I own on Coit Street was $1,975.09 per $100,000. The portion of the tax allocated to Public School for my home was 31.52% while 70.85% of the commercial building tax was for schools.

The following tax increases will occur if the referendum passes:

$100,000 owner occupied property $134.00

$100,000 non-owner occupied residential property $201.00

$100,000 commercial property $351.75

Do you think it is fair that you will have to pay 1½ times more for your rental home than for your residence or nearly three times more for your commercial building over the next 20-25 years? Currently it takes two months of my gross income to pay my commercial property tax. I realize that the school district needs money but the plan for obtaining it is wrong. Recently I read where Darlington built two new schools with money raised from sales tax. Why can’t we do the same? Funding from a sales tax will be paid by everyone including the visitors to Florence. If it takes legislation to accomplish this, so what. I believe that if the school board members had stopped to analyze the existing tax structure and the burden that the tax referendum will place on a certain percentage of the Florence County citizens they would have found a different route to accomplish their goal.

Andy Fowler

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