FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY AND TAXES
Our Comprehensive Plan mandates that growth must pay for itself. Our
laws also require that Martin County is a pay as you go county. We
recognize that a good government is one that doesn't borrow excessively
from tomorrow to pay for goods and services consumed today.
Florida has shown a predictable history in boom and bust real estate
cycles. If we can rely on these lessons of history (and I think we
can), we should use the boom markets to fund both necessary
infrastructure for existing residents and cash reserves for emergencies
and rainy day back-ups for the inevitable bust cycles.
The County Commission majority that was in office during the real
estate boom ignored maintenance of existing infrastructure in favor of
building new infrastructure to serve the new developments. Even
though I repeatedly warned that the boom would invariably bust, they
made policy decisions that were unwise and short-sighted. At the
height of the boom, our annual impact fee collections added up to
millions of dollars. The Commission majority voted to pledge
future impact fee collections to borrow and bond money for 20 and 30
years to build the Green River Parkway, Citrus Boulevard, and the
Veterans Memorial Bridge, projects that should have been built by the
developers who profited from their construction.
The bust that ensued dropped impact fees down to nearly nothing.
But, we still have those debt services to pay for many years to
come. We have had no choice but to use the tax dollars that were
ear-marked for other worthy expenditures/ improvements/ maintenance to
pay for our debts.
In their endorsement for my re-election in 2010 and in 2014, the Stuart News called
me the one true fiscal conservative on the County Commission.
Martin County residents can have complete confidence that my actions
and votes as Commissioner will be consistent, accountable, transparent,
and fiscally conservative.