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Letters to the Editor for Nov. 25, 2012 | Hospital tax fallacy

Ocala, FL - November 25, 2012
Published in the ocala Star-banner Sunday, November 25, 2012

Hospital tax fallacy

I’m missing something. In Brad Rogers’ Nov. 18 column, “After the votes,” the point was raised again that many people who voted against the Munroe property tax said they would have voted for it if it had been a sales tax, which supposedly would spread the burden across the whole community.

Sounds like a cop-out to me.

So far as I know, nearly all privately owned property in Marion County is subject to property tax — business and residential alike. Unless you live under a freeway overpass or are otherwise unfortunately homeless, you pay property tax. If you own your home, you pay it directly to the county. If you rent, you pay it through your landlord as part of your rent.

Further, a property tax is reasonably progressive while a sales tax is regressive. Also, it is easier to beat a sales tax than a property tax. Simply shop outside the county for big ticket items, or go on the Internet. One thing a sales tax does do is snare money from those passing through the county.

I have no quarrel with Rogers’ point regarding the need for reform of Florida’s restrictive sales tax law, only with those who use it as an excuse to avoid support for valuable public services.

Fritz de Holl