One of the main reasons so many people come to Florida is the low tax burden.
The Sunshine State has the 45th lowest tax burden in the nation, according to the latest study by WalletHub.com. The states with the highest tax burden, based on income, property and sales taxes, are New York, Hawaii, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, Minnesota, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Illinois and California.
With no state income tax and relatively low property and sales taxes, it’s easy to see why retirees look forward to moving to the Sunshine State from the Northeast and Midwest.
So which states are lower than Florida -- New Hampshire, Delaware, Wyoming, Tennessee and Alaska. Not exactly places where you want to endure winter.
So, it would seem an easy sell to get voters to pay a penny more in sales taxes to improve Volusia County’s infrastructure. Obviously not as the last attempt failed.
While residents of Volusia have a low tax burden, if you ask them, they’ll assure you they pay too much in taxes and don’t trust government to spend properly what they do pay. Also, there is the “let the developers pay for it” mantra.
So, what is the solution?
Obviously the county should make sure it is charging as high of impact fees as possible. The Volusia County Council did decide raising impact fees and Minto Communities immediately cut its plans for Latitude Margaritaville in half. But did that slow down development? If you’ve been following the news, it definitely hasn’t and now Minto is expanding its plans for Latitude Margaritaville.
But the cost of improving roads, maintaining sewer and water systems, and providing all the myriad government services is huge. As the population grows, the area will need more fire fighters, police, teachers and all the other workers who contribute to a good quality of life for others.
So, it’s also obvious that Volusia residents are going to have to resolve to pay higher taxes in the near future. Surely it won’t be terrible if Florida rises from 45th to 40th in tax burden.
Commercial real estate has been active recently. Some of the deals include Overland Park, Kan., investors buying the Sonic Drive-In property at 1221 Saxon Blvd. in Orange City for $2 million. A California investor, under the entity Unatin-Esplanade LLC, bought the strip center with AT&T and Subway on Beville Road for about $1,69 million.
Mercedes Homes, under the name Junction Community Developers, bought vacant land along S. U.S. 17/92 in DeBary for $1.383 million where sitework has starting for a 150-lot residential subdivision. Dream Finders Homes bought a batch of lots at Rivington in DeBary for $1.05 million.
Stuart Brumer bought the property at 574 LPGA Blvd. in Holly Hill housing his BSI Racing Services for $750,000. Strada Services, a Sanford firm that provides electric, security and air conditioning services, bought several acres of vacant land along West New York Avenue in DeLand for $500,000.
On a final note, some miscellaneous items include Bay Street Dawgs, a hot dog hut, opening at 108 Bay St. in Daytona Beach. Buff City Soap shop is going into Tomoka Town Center in Daytona Beach. Site work is starting on phase 4 of Reserve at Victoria in DeLand. Park at Via Roma apartments’ name is changing to Kabana Flats at 875 Derbyshire Road, according to sign application with City of Daytona Beach.
CTO Realty Growth's joint land venture wants to put three commercial lots at northeast corner of LPGA and International Speedway boulevards in Daytona Beach. Demolition is starting on the former Julian’s restaurant at 88 S. Atlantic Ave. in Ormond Beach. Tanger Factory Outlet Center in Daytona Beach will be adding a Coach shop.
Managing Editor Cecil G. Brumley has been tracking business and the economy in Volusia County for more than 24 years. Contact him at email@example.com (no hyphens) or follow him on Twitter @cecilbrumley.