LBK Commission Advocates
Tyranny by the Majority
If one was going to create a perfect example of a government creating Tyranny by the Majority, it would be the LBK commission's second underground power line non-ad valorem tax assessment methodology.
Only the commission knows why they chose to abandon the long established ad valorem taxing methodology used to fund both ongoing beach maintenance and canal dredging. Non-ad valorem taxes are regressive and inherently unfair to a large segment of the community.
The illogical rationals being employed by the commission to support their two undergrounding projects, creates large economic disparities within the community, in some cases by over 1000%.
For the GMD undergrounding project, the commission reasoned, incorrectly, that since everyone eventually drives on GMD, depending on when they return to the island and how long they stay on island, so everyone should have to pay equally for the privilege of not seeing above ground power lines on GMD. The commission's undergrounding initiative does not improve safety or quality of service, compared to what the community would have received for free from the FPL's scheduled improvements to the power grid along GMD.
For the "neighborhoods" undergrounding project, the commission employs a totally different set of rationals to justify setting up a perfect instance to Tyranny by the Majority.
The long standing taxing scheme for the two beach maintenance districts, divides the community into those properties directly benefiting from renourishing the beach immediately in front of their property, and a separate voting group who receive indirect benefit from having adequate beaches along the entire island. Unfortunately the commission has been remiss for the past six years and our beaches have been allowed to deteriorate in many places. The tax liability for the two groups is 80/20.
This separation of both benefits and tax liability, into two voting groups, allows those most financially affected by a referendum (80% of the tax liability), to have protection from the large majority of property owners (voters) with only a small tax exposure (20% of the tax liability). This is both logical and fair.
For some strange reason, this commission has decided to lump the majority group of property owners, with a $500 tax liability (7000 properties), together with the 3000 property owners with overhead power lines and a maximum tax liability of $11,000. Obviously the voters with only a small tax liability can exercise their majority power over the minority group of voters with a very large tax liability. This is called Tyranny by the Majority. It is not fair and has no place in a constitutional republic such as we have in America.
In good conscience, every LBK voter should vote against the political excesses of this commission, to demonstrate that we still stand for fairness and a truly democratic society.
Please ask yourself, if you are one of the majority, is the somewhat improved aesthetics of underground power lines in the "neighborhoods" worth straddling them with a $10,500 tax liability? Remember your vote affects thousands of property owners, many of whom have small homes and fixed incomes. For hundreds, perhaps thousands, of homeowners, the second referendum will increase their yearly property taxes from 30% to 60%. Do you really want to be part of the commission's unbalanced zeal to have virtual mandatory undergrounding throughout the island?