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Sarasota News Leader April 19, 2013 Page 45 past 11 p.m., Shaw asked, "On the CRA, did we kill it?" Snyder said, "The motion I made is we are not going to financially participate in it. Leave the money in general revenue." "Are we just opting out?" asked Caragiulo. Snyder replied, "We need to get out of it and stop playing these shell games." Attorney Fournier stepped in before the confusion spread: "We'll put it on the next agenda." DUAL TAXATION REDUX The CRA has been a visible and tangible way for the county to fight the city's arguments Vice Mayor Willie Shaw. Photo by Norman about dual taxation, with city residents paySchimmel ing county property taxes but saying they get nothing in return. This is a perennial hot topic as at least one county commissioner has suggested? in Florida. If the CRA sunsets, and the county takes its contribution out of the city, it is likely a dual taxation lawsuit will not be far away. There is now sufficient case law and legislation that the legal battle could be extensive. The county finance staff for years has prepared for another round of dual-taxation litigation, keeping a set of books showing how the county showers benefits on its other municipalities. The 11-member committee's role will be complicated further by the close observation of its political masters, as well as by the other cities in the county. If Sarasota County opts to provide capital funding for city projects, Longboat, Venice and North Port will be standing with their hands out, as well. Government throughout the ages has been primarily a matter of allocation of resources — who gets what from whom and how much. A despot can take all the resources and let people starve; governments have evolved from that starting point until today, when they have to live with dual taxation and CRA funding schemes. If the CRA is extended, will it use the 1986 "baseline" to calculate the county contribution? Or will the baseline be reset to 2016, starting the cycle anew? And who will decide where and how the money will be spent? If the city makes no contributions, should it be calling the shots? Or would an "unelected and This new 11-member group will be one comindependent body" be responsible for them, mittee well worth watching. %

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