FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 29, 2016
Walter Price, Chairman
Lake County Republican Executive Committee
(352) 742-1972 or (352) 408-6479
Lake Republicans to Oppose Property Tax Referendum
Taxpayer funded indigent care viewed as a form of unfair
Corporate welfare that needs overhaul
Tavares, Florida: By a super-majority margin the Lake County Republican Executive Committee (LCREC) endorsed a Resolution calling for the defeat of the November 8th North Lake Hospital District ad valorem tax referendum. The referendum is required by a 2012 change to Florida law which “sunsets” the tax and the independent tax District unless the impacted taxpayers approve a 10-year extension of the District. Initially created in the early 1960’s the District imposes, collects and distributes a 1 mil tax on every property owner in the Northern half of Lake County. The tax equals $100 per $100,000 dollars of taxable value of real property. In recent years the tax on property owner's averages $8-12 million annually. During its 66-year existence the tax has totaled several hundred million dollars and is projected to redirect in excess of a hundred million dollars during the next 10-year term up for renewal.
The stance by the LCREC to oppose the renewal reflects the trend to discontinue archaic systems of taxation devised decades ago before the introduction of the multiple government funding schemes like Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act. The opposition also stems from a growing concern that burdensome taxing authority administered by obscure bodies is little more than corporate welfare for private business entities that are already enjoying bountiful tax breaks from the public in exchange for their altruistic work. Those tax breaks, in the form of property tax exemptions, sales tax exemptions and income tax exemptions, amount to millions of dollars annually which are also borne by the taxpayer but are hidden from public view by their obscurity.
The LCREC Resolution was considered by the full membership of the Republican Executive Committee at its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, September 27th. The meeting was convened after hosting an extraordinary public forum on the specific question of the utility and benefits of the North Lake Hospital District during which David Ottati, President and Chief Executive Officer, Florida Hospital Waterman and Don Henderson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Leesburg Regional Medical Center made the case for renewal of the District and the funding stream that it provides to both the hospitals and a number of clinics and programs delivering health care services in Lake County.
A map reflecting the impacted areas currently paying the tax can be found here: http://www.healthylakecounty.com/district-map.html
Lake County Republican Executive Committee: The Lake County Republican Executive Committee
is the official Republican Party of Florida organization in Lake County, Florida. Detailed information about the LCREC and its activities can be found at www.lakecountyrepublicans.org or by calling (352) 742-1972