In my last column I put forth the idea of casino gambling to help reduce our real estate tax problem. More on that in a second. Understand that the BIGGEST problem is our government spending. We, as citizens and property owners, need to beat the hell out of the politicians (Mentally - not physically) to stop the government giveaways. We don't need schools or government buildings to look like they are off the cover of Architectural Digest. We don't need to hire consultants for $1,000,000 to tell us what is as plain and simple as the nose on our faces. And most of all, we don't need to support every cause that comes down the street. This amounts to our (the taxpayers' money) being spent recklessly.
Now for the casinos. A statewide board should be put in place (no politicians) that will oversee casino districts. A district would encompass a particular region, for example: Gold Coast, Treasure Coast, Sun Coast, etc. Each region will be allotted a certain number of casinos - one, two or three - depending on the population or travel facilities, etc. Each district would be run by a local board of directors and a president. The president is paid $150,000 per year and the directors are paid $20,000.
All net profits from a particular district would be funneled back to the local governments on some agreed upon percentage basis, similar to the Penny for Pinellas. This program can work if state government is not running it.
Instead of sending our residents to Biloxi, Branson, Las Vegas, Atlantic City, etc., the money stays home and millions more people would visit our state and spend BILLIONS. Real estate taxes are reduced, homes start selling again and the state and the business community once again prosper.
Not the perfect plan, but it beats the hell out of anything I have heard.
Ric Cornelius is the Broker/Manager of Sand Key Realty Sales and Rentals, Inc. Sand Key Realty has three offices with 40 agents. One office is at 740 S. Gulfview Blvd., Clearwater Beach, 727-443-0032; the second office is at 2701 Gulf Blvd., Indian Rocks Beach, 727-595-5441; and the third office is at 309 Belleview Blvd., Belleair, 727-461-4200.
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