“Thank you sir! May I have another!”
That college initiation ritual request for another swat on the butt comes to mind as Duval taxpayers assumed the position and asked to pay more taxes.
The one-mill property tax increase passed easily Tuesday with 53 percent of the vote.
School Superintendent Diana Greene deserves the credit. Her reputation as a salesman for higher taxes, which preceded her move to Duval County, was enhanced. Her tireless efforts, with the help of the powerful teachers union, sold taxpayers on the idea that – somehow – government schools would improve if people would just pony up more money.
As a result, local teachers will get a substantial pay increase – not just the good ones, but all of them.
The pitch was that a pay increase was needed to keep teachers from leaving the system.
It was a hoax. Teachers are leaving, but so are students. At worst, class sizes might have to increase by one student on average. But classes are much smaller than they were 20 years ago, so the difference would be insignificant.
Also, teachers have been getting substantial pay increases for the past few years. But, as Eye on Jacksonville noted a while back, it seems to be pretty easy to get Florida voters to raise their own taxes.
Many who vote for higher taxes probably pay little or no taxes, or are renters and erroneously believe they don’t pay property taxes
Voters also are eager in many cases to increase sales taxes, even though clearly everyone pays those.
In any event, politicians recognize this phenomenon and are not shy about letting democracy work – when it works the way they want it to.