WPB Non-Ad Valorem Tax

City Commission meeting held on 8/28/2017 item #18 on the agenda was Ordinance No. 4725-17 finding a special benefit and authorizing a non ad-valorem special assessment for Residential Solid Waste & Recycling collection services; and Resolution # 274-17 setting the assessment rate and approving the Assessment Roll”. What does that mean?
The city, with the help of Scott Kelly, Assistant City Administrator, found a way to reach deeper into our pockets and have a portion of residents bills namely “Residential Sanitation” which consist of Garbage & Trash and Recycling placed on the tax bill.

If you examine your bill from the city you will find 4 sections that resident are billed for and I offer my bill as an example.

(1) Residential Water:
Service Charge $21.43
Usage $2.41
Utility Tax $2.39

(2) Residential Wastewater:
Service Charg $12.24
Usage $3.61

(3) Residential Sanitation
Garbage & Trash $16.00
Recycling $2.85

(4) Residential Stormwater
Service Charge $13.17

First question: What is with the “Service Charge”? $46.84 total. Why not call it what it is?
So the city will remove $18.85 from our monthly billing and add $219.96 to our tax bill. I did not plan on this and already am short dollars to pay my tax bill in November, and how dare they bill us a year in advance for services not received. Their explanation “other cities do it” so that makes it alright?
Well the good news it didn’t pass to be placed of the tax rolls this year, but it is a certainty for next year. So this year we will pay the $18.85 monthly, and place the same amount in our monthly budget for 2018. There is some good news the recycling fee will be reduced from $2.85 to $2.33 saving residents a whopping $6.24 a year. I don’t know what people will do with their savings but I intend to have a gourmet meal at McDonalds.

I was one of several residents who spoke out about passing the non ad-valorem tax and placing it on our County tax roll. Mr. Kelly said it would save the city money on the billing by removing #3 from the monthly billing. How is that going to save the city money by removing it? Residents will still receive a monthly billing. I believe once the city places #3 on the tax roll they will find a way to raise one of the other 3 or invent a new one to take it’s place.
The bill I receive from the city is my highest bill including FPL.

I am one of thousands of retired workers living on Social Security and being responsible I pay my bills on time and never spend more money than what I receive. I pay my tax bill in November to save 4% of my total bill.
The last tax bill I receive I start to budget my money for the next tax year. This year I budgeted $123.00/ month, now it has jumped to $141.00 thanks to the city.
I can’t wait to see how the city will add the $18.33 we will be saving from our monthly bill. The last line in the notice received from the city speaks volumes. “”A rate study will be undertaken in 2018 to determine the needed level rates for future years”
So the city is giving you a heads up—–It’s coming, be ready,

Both Commissioner Ryan & Materio spoke up for the residents. Commissioners Neering & Moffett stayed mute, while Commissioner James asked if they could pass it and have it take effect next year. The answer was no.




Back to School

The city asked for volunteers to welcome children back to school, and I received an invitation to participate at the Northmore Elementary School. I accepted the invitation and it was a memorable occasion and I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend a couple of hours.

After parking my car the first thing I noticed were police officers waiting for the buses to arrive with the children.
I asked why they were there and they said to welcome the kids back to school, and when the buses pulled up they spread out and talked to as many of the kids as possible. Is it possible the next generation wont fear the police and know them as friends who can help if they have problems?

I asked where the volunteers were and was shown an area where 11 of us lined up to applaud and welcome the kids back to school. I didn’t realize there were many more volunteers at another entrance to the school. Turnout was wonderful.
You could tell the kids that were coming to school for the first time. The kindergartners looked scared to death, afraid of the unknown. The older children were all smiles and walked down the path and gave a hi-five to all volunteers. The parents also all smiles thanked us for being there.
What was a surprise to me was the number of fathers who accompanied their children to their first day of school. For many years that was always “mom’s job” and seeing dad’s so involved was heartwarming.

At one point in time Northmore was on the list for 20 worst schools, until Principle Vonda Daniels and her dedicated staff of teachers turned it around.
On 8/14/2017 at a City Commission meeting Mayor Muoio presented Ms. Daniels, along with Ilene Silber, Education Consultant with a Proclamation for “Attendance Awareness Month” Much deserved.

A special Thank You to Commissioner Neering for extending his “Ties that Bind” program, to include welcoming children back to school, and Matt Chambers for overseeing the volunteers, and it was no surprise to see Commissioner Moffett in attendance, who shared with me Mr. Green, a businessman donated 400 I-Pads to the school.


More Learning Opportunities

Get a Jumpstart on a trade and Career path at North Tech Pre- Apprenticeship program where you can learn Welding, Electrical, Carpentry, Plumbing or HVAC.
Classes are held Monday & Wednesday night from 6-9:30 PM.
Registration will be held Tuesday 8/22, Wednesday 8/23, and Thursday 8/24 from 6-8 PM
For more information please call 561-842-1063

The Vickers House, in partnership with PBC School District, will be offering GED/ABE classes to anyone interested in continuing their education.
Registration: August 14-25.
Tuition cost: $30.00 per semester, which will be waived if homeless or receiving food stamps.
Class schedule begin (Mon.) August 28,2017 ends Dec.15, 2017.
For more information please call 561-804-4970.

Youth & Young Adult Program (Must be ages 17-24) where you will learn Development Leadership skills, Receive money management training, Participate in field trips and community service activities, Explore interest and careers, Earn valuable credentials and engage in mock interviews and resume buildings.
Next class begins Sept.11,2017.
For more information please call: 561-340-1060 ext. 2361

Above are 3 learning opportunities. Just reach out and take a chance to improve your life.