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Chamber of Commerce will Support County's 2% Bed Tax

STUART - The Stuart/Martin County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors will support the hospitality industry's efforts for a county 2 percent bed tax. "This effort is a wonderful example of a users' tax, which this chamber endorses over the option of taxing business," said Joe Catrambone, president of the chamber. The chamber opposed a similar referendum in 1995 but is now "confident this board of commissioners will use the funds as intended," Catrambone said. County voters will be asked on Sept. 10 to approve a tax plan that would add 2 percent to the cost of staying at a hotel, condominium or other short-term accommodation. The tax is opposed by the county chapter of Citizens for a Sound Economy and the Republican Executive Committee in Martin County because "government money shouldn't be going into private industry," according to the groups. The tax plan is expected to generate about $665,000 in the first year - going into effect Nov. 1 if approved in September - and possibly more than $1.2 million annually by 2007, chamber officials said. Money generated by the tax would be used to market the county's tourism opportunities.

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Chamber of Commerce will Support County's 2% Bed Tax

BY Jim Turner

STUART - The Stuart/Martin County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors will support the hospitality industry's efforts for a county 2 percent bed tax. "This effort is a wonderful example of a users' tax, which this chamber endorses over the option of taxing business," said Joe Catrambone, president of the chamber. The chamber opposed a similar referendum in 1995 but is now "confident this board of commissioners will use the funds as intended," Catrambone said. County voters will be asked on Sept. 10 to approve a tax plan that would add 2 percent to the cost of staying at a hotel, condominium or other short-term accommodation. The tax is opposed by the county chapter of Citizens for a Sound Economy and the Republican Executive Committee in Martin County because "government money shouldn't be going into private industry," according to the groups. The tax plan is expected to generate about $665,000 in the first year - going into effect Nov. 1 if approved in September - and possibly more than $1.2 million annually by 2007, chamber officials said. Money generated by the tax would be used to market the county's tourism opportunities.

07/23/2002
Vote Against Tourist Tax

In Kirk Sorensen's letter published June 13 ("Heads in beds real boost to economy") he states that Martin County gains a strong economic impact from seasonal tourists. He also implies that draining up to $1 million in taxes from that group will help market our resort hotels in the summer. This is circular reasoning and deserves further analysis.

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Vote Against Tourist Tax

In Kirk Sorensen's letter published June 13 ("Heads in beds real boost to economy") he states that Martin County gains a strong economic impact from seasonal tourists. He also implies that draining up to $1 million in taxes from that group will help market our resort hotels in the summer. This is circular reasoning and deserves further analysis.

06/24/2002
Let's Set the Record Stright on Proposed Bed Tax

I would like to acknowledge Ray Adams' May 15 letter, "Bed tax unnecessary and unfair to tourists," and address several of his comments. His letter, although well-meaning, did contain several inaccuracies and misconceptions. Taken in order, he stated that one of the facts I left out was "Martin County is a secondary tourist stop." I called it a "low-profile destination." Sorry about that! However you call it, I think we agree - but I didn't leave it out.

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Let's Set the Record Stright on Proposed Bed Tax

BY Bill Pullen

I would like to acknowledge Ray Adams' May 15 letter, "Bed tax unnecessary and unfair to tourists," and address several of his comments. His letter, although well-meaning, did contain several inaccuracies and misconceptions. Taken in order, he stated that one of the facts I left out was "Martin County is a secondary tourist stop." I called it a "low-profile destination." Sorry about that! However you call it, I think we agree - but I didn't leave it out.

05/25/2002
Bed Tax Unnecessary and Unfair to Tourists

I would like to reply to Bill Pullen (manager of Holiday Inn Oceanside and president of the Martin County Hotel and Motel Association) who asserts in his May 9 letter that bed taxes, if used properly, would increase tourism. In retrospect, the other two times this tax was proposed, the association (14 motels) killed it because the revenue would not benefit them. Now that its use is for free advertising, the association is behind it.

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Bed Tax Unnecessary and Unfair to Tourists

BY Ray Adams

I would like to reply to Bill Pullen (manager of Holiday Inn Oceanside and president of the Martin County Hotel and Motel Association) who asserts in his May 9 letter that bed taxes, if used properly, would increase tourism. In retrospect, the other two times this tax was proposed, the association (14 motels) killed it because the revenue would not benefit them. Now that its use is for free advertising, the association is behind it.

05/15/2002
MArtin Seniors Must Like County's "Spending Spree"

Republicans in the U.S. Congress have been labeled "tax collectors for the welfare state." Republican commissioners in Martin County should be called "tax collectors for the special interests." Realtors, developers and their allied interests want you to pay more property, sales and gas taxes to pay for golf courses, parks and roundabouts to enhance their development values.

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MArtin Seniors Must Like County's "Spending Spree"

BY Ray Adams

Republicans in the U.S. Congress have been labeled "tax collectors for the welfare state." Republican commissioners in Martin County should be called "tax collectors for the special interests." Realtors, developers and their allied interests want you to pay more property, sales and gas taxes to pay for golf courses, parks and roundabouts to enhance their development values.

04/29/2002
Amtrak Not Worth Funsing With Citizens' Tax Dollars

Editor: I am writing about your editorial of July 20 in favor of giving state subsidies to Amtrak. There were also favorable news articles on June 19 when Amtrak carried local politicians and other civic leaders between Jacksonville and Miami. This one-time free ride for local opinion-makers has generated such a demand for spending millions of Florida taxpayer dollars that to do anything less, your editorial, says, "is an obstacle to progress."

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Amtrak Not Worth Funsing With Citizens' Tax Dollars

BY Thomas B. Hauck

Editor: I am writing about your editorial of July 20 in favor of giving state subsidies to Amtrak. There were also favorable news articles on June 19 when Amtrak carried local politicians and other civic leaders between Jacksonville and Miami. This one-time free ride for local opinion-makers has generated such a demand for spending millions of Florida taxpayer dollars that to do anything less, your editorial, says, "is an obstacle to progress."

08/18/2001
Martin Commissioners, Prioritize Your Wish List

Editor: Recently Martin County commissioners voted to abolish the sales tax referendum - for this year - by a slim (3-2) margin. They promised to look for additional revenue for capital improvements from the budget process, but were not optimistic. If thwarted, they would revisit the sales tax in the 2002 general elections.

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Martin Commissioners, Prioritize Your Wish List

BY Ray Adams

Editor: Recently Martin County commissioners voted to abolish the sales tax referendum - for this year - by a slim (3-2) margin. They promised to look for additional revenue for capital improvements from the budget process, but were not optimistic. If thwarted, they would revisit the sales tax in the 2002 general elections.

07/11/2001
President Right to Balk At Bad Kyoto Treaty

Editor: President Bush acted very responsibly when he announced that the United States would not ratify the Kyoto Protocol. The facts behind his decision include the following: In July 1997, the U.S. Senate (by a vote of 95-0) told then-President Clinton not to sign the Kyoto Protocol unless the "developed" and "developing" countries were treated equally.

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President Right to Balk At Bad Kyoto Treaty

BY Thomas B. Hauck

Editor: President Bush acted very responsibly when he announced that the United States would not ratify the Kyoto Protocol. The facts behind his decision include the following: In July 1997, the U.S. Senate (by a vote of 95-0) told then-President Clinton not to sign the Kyoto Protocol unless the "developed" and "developing" countries were treated equally.

07/09/2001
County Sales Tax to Drop

Several county residents urged the commissioners to go forward with the sales tax referendum and one came out against it. STUART - Martin County's sales tax will go down by 1 percent Jan. 1 as a result of a decision by county commissioners Tuesday to abandon plans to extend the sales tax for three years to pay for an ambitious $48 million building program. After a heated hourlong discussion, county commissioners voted 3-2 against going forward with a $180,000 referendum on the proposed sales tax extension.

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County Sales Tax to Drop

BY George Andreassi

Several county residents urged the commissioners to go forward with the sales tax referendum and one came out against it. STUART - Martin County's sales tax will go down by 1 percent Jan. 1 as a result of a decision by county commissioners Tuesday to abandon plans to extend the sales tax for three years to pay for an ambitious $48 million building program. After a heated hourlong discussion, county commissioners voted 3-2 against going forward with a $180,000 referendum on the proposed sales tax extension.

06/20/2001
Negron to Face Argenio Again

He accused Argenio of using an "onslaught of soft money." STUART - Attorney Joe Negron announced Thursday he is again ready to challenge state Rep. Art Argenio for the House seat Argenio won in last year's special election. After losing the Repub-lican primary runoff to Argenio, Negron insisted he would "not run again." Ar-genio went on to win the general election against Democrat Cara Scherer to represent parts of southern Martin and northern Palm Beach counties. Negron said his experience since then has made him reconsider the decision not to run.

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Negron to Face Argenio Again

He accused Argenio of using an "onslaught of soft money." STUART - Attorney Joe Negron announced Thursday he is again ready to challenge state Rep. Art Argenio for the House seat Argenio won in last year's special election. After losing the Repub-lican primary runoff to Argenio, Negron insisted he would "not run again." Ar-genio went on to win the general election against Democrat Cara Scherer to represent parts of southern Martin and northern Palm Beach counties. Negron said his experience since then has made him reconsider the decision not to run.

06/09/2000