Let me ask you if you are familiar with a couple of present day examples of how a specific type of funding is used to keep some projects solvent. First, we all are keenly aware of toll roads and how they are supposed to allieviate traffic congestion by providing a limited access roadway to get from point A to point B quicker. Although there certainly are times when expressways may fail to accomplish that purpose, what they do in fact provide is an alternative route to those drivers who choose to participate, through paying a toll for each vehicle using it. Essentailly a use fee. The same is true for owners of automobiles, when they pay at the pump to purchase fuel for their vehicle so that they can run it’s engine. Once again, we are familiar with all the taxes piled on to the actual cost of the fuel for each vehicle, another use fee. We can talk about Florida’s higher education programs at Universities and Colleges alike and what do you have? If you want to attend, you pay a fee for each student who attends. Every where around us, we pay fees in order to use something or participate in something. Wouldn’t you agree that this idea of a use fee is firmly entrenched in our society? When we go through a turnstyle at a theme park, each person pays a fee. So, why is it, when it comes to public education in our schools, that we only tax property owners for the priviledge of helping our school financing?Other than the so called free education promised by the State, why is it that anyone would not expect to pay a fee to help each of their children attend school? What I am leading up to is the fact that although there are certainly many families who have children and who own homes, they pay property taxes, thus helping fund school for their children, there are many times over that number of families who also have children who rent or lease apartments, condos, etc., whose children also attend schools, who do not directly pay school tax. The building owner is stuck with that responsibility. I urge you to charge that appropriate fee directly onto the renters. It is obvious to see the inequity of the difference situation of one family paying taxes, while the other does not. So everyone says there is a shortfall in funding schools. I am merely proposing that a use fee for education be an equitable one and renters specifically pay their fair share for each child as well as for those who own homes. I haven’t even mentioned the fact that presently there are many home owners in Florida whose children are grown or never had children attend school, and yet these people still are required to pay their property taxes, funding education for other families. So, shouldn’t all of us be tightening our belts and expand the financing of our schools? It’s only right!
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