Sarasota News Leader

08/23/2013

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Sarasota News Leader August 23, 2013 OPINION Page 62 RAND PAUL AND PARKING METERS By Rodger Skidmore Guest Columnist COMMENTARY One of the latest examples of the bashing of Republicans by Republicans took place when Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky criticized New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and the residents of that state for wanting to be bailed out after Hurricane Sandy struck last year — for wanting more than their "fair share." paid out for education, healthcare (just not for Obamacare), roads, etc. Based on this seemingly universal approach to taxing and spending, it is hard to understand the feeling of leaders in the City of Sarasota that their Parking Division needs to break even — and further, that if the department does not cover all of its own expenses, then Christie pointed out in response that for ev- parking meters should be reinstalled. Again. ery dollar New Jersey sends to Washington Or to be more accurate, re-re-re-installed. in federal taxes, it receives in return just a bit more than 60 cents. However, for every As with federal, state and county tax revedollar paid by Rand Paul and the people of nue, all of the city's forms of revenue (parking fines, fees for licenses, its portion of sales tax Kentucky, $1.51 is returned to them. revenue, etc.) should go into its own generThe reason for the difference is that federal al fund and be distributed for salaries, pentaxes go into a general fund and then are dis- sion payments and other city expenditures as tributed based on various national and state needed. While there is no legal requirement requirements: the military, education, roads, for any one department to "break even," one etc. … including disaster relief. This is sort may agree that managing financial resources of a — sorry to put it so bluntly — commu- well can help the bottom line. nist approach: from each state according to its ability, to each state according to its needs. Since running a red light is somewhat akin to parking too long in one spot (a traffic vioIt is the same in Florida. Businesses that earn lation), there should be no problem is using a lot of money pay more in taxes than busipayments from red-light runners to cover any nesses that do not. Counties that bring in more shortfall in the area of parking enforcement. in sales tax revenue (those where the people have more money and thus spend more) pay Actually, the Tea Party and the Libertarians more to Tallahassee, and counties in which should both love this approach, as they do not people spend less, pay less. This tax revenue like adding new taxes without eliminating exgoes into Florida's general fund and then is isting ones. They certainly have been up in

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