Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Orlando City Council: approves of property tax hikes and armored vehicles for police

Posted By on Tue, Sep 9, 2014 at 6:39 PM

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The City Council yesterday gave the preliminary OK yesterday to increasing  your property taxes by 17 percent, because revenues aren't keeping up with City Hall's spendy ways. The city has a lifestyle to which it  has grown accustomed, of course, so we need to make more money. The council managed to cut its annual budget by $379 million or so since 2002, but you slackers still aren't doing your part – income from property taxes is down $37.9 million, and even after the city cut its proposed spending for 2014/15 by $17.5 million, it still can't close the gap. Because life is expensive, and the city has let you skate by all this time without raising property taxes.

Look at this infographic the city put up on its budget website, so you could see how much more things cost in this day and age (as if you didn't already know).

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The decision on whether to increase taxes is not final until the measure goes for a final vote before the council on Sept. 15. If you care about this, you can (and should) make sure your City Council representative knows how you feel about the move. Go ahead and ask them what

But, oh hey, look – the Orlando police are getting this neat armored vehicle with a built-in battering ram for $250,000. Tax dollars at work, because you never know when a military-style bulletproof vehicle might come in handy. It's the same kind that was used by police in Ferguson, Missouri, during the recent rioting there, says the Sentinel. They're all the rage with police departments across the nation, and according to this New York Times piece, Florida police departments alone can claim 37 of them – and of those 37, two belong to Orlando. The new vehicle will make three, though police officials say they'll sell one of the older models to make room for the new one. Maitland also has a military-style vehicle that it obtained through a military-surplus program (though it hasn't used it), as does St. Cloud.

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