Sarasota News Leader

01/24/2014

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Sarasota News Leader January 24, 2014 OPINION Page 73 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR SARASOTA COUNTY HAS ITS OWN VERSION OF ECONOMICS 101 To the Editor: Economists, in determining when a recession has truly ended, often look at leading and lagging indicators. A leading indicator might be a decrease in inventory — the thinking being that if inventory is low, new orders will follow, which would lead to an increase in jobs. A lagging indicator might be a decrease in the level of unemployment, showing that more jobs have already been created. Pumping money into the economy to get the country out of a recession after it is already out of a recession would simply fuel inflation. It seems that the city and county commissioners who give unwarranted variances and cut impact fees when they do not need to do so are pandering to their campaign contributors, lining their own pockets — if their "day jobs" are related to an increase in building activity — or simply reacting to gut feelings rather than a rational analysis of economic factors. Case in point: On Jan. 14, the County Commission kept the road impact fees at the 2011 levels (when fees were slashed 50 percent to get us out of a recession) and on Feb. 12, it will institute a procedure whereby builders can claim they are still being unfairly treated (having to pay their fair share of In Sarasota, we have a different set of indicarequired changes to roads necessitated by the tors. A leading one is the number of building construction of new homes). lots that developers have bought, with projects about to be started. This publication has had Inflation might be defined as a faster than many articles about such situations in the past normal (or required) increase in the cost of few months. A lagging indicator is the fact that goods — or, in Sarasota, as an unwarranted those same developers are asking the city and increase in the amount of existing property county to give them variances and to reduce for which taxpayers will be assessed relative impact fees so they can make additional prof- to the costs of new infrastructure. its. However, they would not be buying building Rodger Skidmore lots or starting projects if they were not going to make money in the first place. Siesta Key Press Releases & News Tips News@SarasotaNewsLeader.com

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