Monday, November 2, 2009

Question about fairness in financing beach nourishment.

I noticed that you mention that you favor "a special taxing district" as one of the funding streams for beach nourishment.  Previously the special taxing district was identified as "East of the beach road".   This might have been "easy" but it did don't consider closeness to the water nor elevation.  Houses on the West side of the beach road are very often advertised as "one lot back" and in many cases are closer to the water than houses east of the beach road.   Do you feel that the designation of the special taxing district as East of the beach road was equitable? And if a special taxing district is again identified what area would you recommend including in the special taxing district?

Thanks for your question. I think the funding formula for the referendum was balanced on factors such as simplicity, fairness, and ease of execution. It's hard to deny that oceanfront owners reap the greatest benefit, but even that benefit varies dramatically from north to south. I believe the previous formula balanced the cost and the benefit reasonably well, because it was based on the tax value of the property.

I would anticipate that a special tax district would be used again, and I think it will be difficult to include anything that is not east of the beach road. While I understand your point that your home is actually about as far west as some Dolphin Run homes, I think not having to cross the beach road adds value to your property. I've had some of this discussion with the property owner who is the last one in the north beach section to be included, but that line does have to be drawn somewhere. And practically, the beach road is a much clearer line than 1000 feet from the first line of vegetation, or some similar measure. I am open to suggestions on a better way that retains some of the simplicity.

Thanks for your question J.. I know I may not have given the answer you prefer, but please understand that I think it's the best one available, and I'm open to your suggestions as well.