Petition to small business owners, Homeowners, Mount Pocono Association, Pocono Chamber of Commerce
Poconos Business Owners & Homeowners -
Our Property Rights are at Risk!
PROBLEM STATEMENT: A unilateral decision to partially ban Short-Term Rentals negatively impacts property values, small business owners, taxable base, and employment opportunities while directly benefiting large corporations that export profits and local jobs (both to large corporate partners and offshore) while indirectly suppressing certain socio-economic groups (e.g. cost of visiting goes up). Tourism is a strategic industry to the Pocono economy: ~25% of jobs are supported by visitor spending $3.3B directly spent by visitors in 2018 28M visitors in 2018 (https://www.poconomountains.com/about-pmvb/research-travel-impacts/) Additionally, any attempt to suppress property rights is by nature, a constitutional matter (4th and 5th Amendment) and the manner in which Ord. No. 2019-03 was socialized, passed, and executed unilaterally (see below) AND on July 1st during a holiday week is questionable. ( https://www.cato.org/cato-handbook-policymakers/cato-handbook-policy-makers-8th-edition-2017/property-rights-constitution) GOALS: Repeal of Pocono Township's Short-Term Rental amendment ) Ord. No. 2019-03, Chapter 301, https://www.ecode360.com/32551226). Secure inclusive representation on Pocono Township's board. ALL homeowners pay taxes and contribute to the township, residents, and local economy; as such, ALL homeowners must have representation. (https://www.poconopa.gov/board-commissioners) Example of the issue at hand: "Our job as commissioner is to look out for the permanent residents of Pocono Township and to make sure that their property is protected." said Pocono Township commissioner Jerry Lastowski (source: Pocono Record) Establish and adopt a universal guidelines/best practices by Short Term Rentals to foster a secure and family friendly culture and cliental that is respectful of ALL of our neighbors. Passing new codes, ordinances, and laws does not nothing when existing codes, ordinances, and laws aren't followed nor enforced. Personal note: My family and I bought a second home on 28June2019, never received notice of this ordinance, adopted 01July2019 (not even after our purchase), and had a city representative unlawfully come to our home on a Saturday night 3-weeks later to harass us about suspicions of rentals (unjustified). I've been visiting the Poconos for 30-years and am now a homeowner, the townships behavior is simply unacceptable.
Petition to Kentucky State Legislature, Matt Bevin, Rick Girdler, David Osborne, Robert Stivers II
Stop the forced annexation by City of Somerset, KY
Mayor Alan Keck of Somerset, KY is proposing a forced annexation of neighboring areas. This will impose unwanted taxes and countless ordinances on Pulaski Countians that intentionally settled outside of the city limits, with no desire to be a part of the city of Somerset. Polling shows overwhelming opposition by those that lived in areas proposed to be annexed. The majority of residents are satisfied with their current county government and services they provide. In addition, members of the county government are opposed to the city of Somerset takong over the unincorporated arras currently service by said County government. The current process does not provide a true legal path for the residents to stop or oppose the annexation. Kentucky law allows cities to do this, regardless of level of opposition by citizens living in proposed annexed areas. The Kentucky State legislature, along with Gov. Matt Bevin should step in and change the laws that allow this practice. This petition has two goals: 1. To bring change to Kentucky's laws regarding forced annexation so that citizens living in affected areas can determine the annexation proposals outcome without having to mobilize a massive petition process to stop it. Proposed annexation should be a ballot measure from the start. 2. To speak with one voice to the mayor and city of Somerset and say that the affected groups of Pulaski Countians do not want to be annexed into the City of Somerset. If you believe in a citizens right to choose where they live and choose their local government without being forcibly absorbed into a neighboring jurisdiction, please sign this petition.
Petition to Greg Smith, Phil Render, Michael Chestnut, Mary Jeffcoat, Jackie Vereen, Mike Lowder, Brenda Bethune, Michael Lowder, firstname.lastname@example.org
DEMAND A REFERENDUM - Myrtle Beach to Deny Your Right to Vote!
IT’S YOUR MONEY - DEMAND A REFERENDUMMyrtle Beach City Council says they don’t trust your opinion and plans to vote on the $Multi-Million Tourism Tax (also known as the TDF or Tourism Development Fee) without a referendum. Send Myrtle Beach a Message: Demand A Referendum! Your County Council LET YOU DECIDE on a 1% road tax (RIDE II) Your County Council LET YOU DECIDE on another 1% road tax (RIDE III) Your School Board LET YOU DECIDE on a 1-cent tax to build new schools. ·North Myrtle Beach LET YOU DECIDE on their 1% Tourism Tax in March (voters said NO by 3,050 to 188!) Myrtle Beach says it WILL NOT LET YOU DECIDE on their 1% Tourism Tax! City Council’s decision is UNFair and UNAmerican! Help send them a message: We DEMAND THE RIGHT TO VOTE! Important Note! You are required to pay this tax whether you’re a tourist, a neighbor, or a registered voter within the City limits. By signing this Petition, you are not committing to vote for or against the tax; you are just demanding that City Council remember that this is America and permit voters to decide. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MYRTLE BEACH’S TOURISM DEVELOPMENT FEE In 2009, Myrtle Beach City Council imposed an Extra 1% Sales Tax on most purchases. That Tax is called the Tourism Development Fee (TDF). When added to a meal, the TDF costs you and our visitors a whopping 11.5%… making it more expensive to dine out here than in New York City (8.875%). This extra TDF is added to thousands of other everyday purchases too. The Myrtle Beach TDF is the ONLY local option sales tax imposed in South Carolina without a referendum! Now City Council plans to extend it 10 more years – without letting YOU vote on it! Another $200 Million vanishing out of the local economy without full accountability. The TDF is unfair to residents and tourists alike and a classic example of why the Founders created America: it is clearly taxation without representation! So where does YOUR TDF money go? 80% of it pays for $Millions in advertising to support the local tourism industry and subsidizes the marketing of hoteliers and other private businesses thru the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. Without independent forensic and marketing audits of the expenditures of your tax dollars, along with independent analytics of the Chamber’s website data, the public statements by the Chamber as to the effectiveness of use of hundreds of millions of your tax dollars is completely unsupported. Even more troubling, the SC Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism (SCPRT) claims less than half of the number of tourists visit Myrtle Beach as stated by the Chamber (8.2M vs 18.5M)! The only known part of every $10 million collected is that $1.6 Million of YOUR taxes is used to pay the property taxes of just a few residential properties in the city. The bigger the house, the bigger the taxpayer subsidy! A few examples: Home Value City Tax Taxpayer Subsidy Paid Net Tax$8,785,760.00 $27,235.83 $22,315.83 $4,920.00$1,000,000.00 $ 3,100.00 $2,540.00 $560.00$ 350,000.00 $1,085.00 $889.00 $196.00$ 200,000.00 $630.00 $508.00 $112.00$ 150,000.00 $465.00 $381.00 $84.00$ 65,000.00 $201.00 $165.00 $36.00 After all taxpayer subsidies for the 4% primary homeowners, they pay only 12% of the full City tax that an investor homeowner pays! The non-subsidized city real estate tax in the above examples would be $40,853.73 for the top example and would be $302.25 for the bottom example! If this was fair, then all real estate properties deserve that same ratio of benefits. Why does a second home / investment residential property pay 8.3 times the amount of city real estate tax that a comparable primary home pays? How is this helpful to a local economy of primarily low-paying tourism-related jobs employing struggling families that often struggle just to rent the home in which they reside? Is our unbalanced tax system creating such inequity that indirectly results in more homeless residents So, while the City leaders are baiting you with all these tax subsidies over the last 9 years, they actual have raised the Reals Estate tax millage rate by over 26%. In addition, the city has raised other taxes and fees an average of $79 per year since 2011 (cumulative increase total $555.89 and continue to increase each year*). Problem is those who are impacted the most from these increases are benefited the least! This means your total taxes and fees have gone up 91% and after the city shuffle with the rebate, it hides 52% of the increase! Where is the incentive to prioritize government expenditures if they can hide these increases without accountability? Everyone likes to keep their taxes low! What happens after another ten years of hidden tax and fee increases? The TDF revenues available for rebate do not increase at same rate of your property value! The TDF revenues available for rebate are limited while the number of qualifying primary residences are increasing annually to share the same pool of money! The TDF rebates will diminish over time! Are you going to wait another 10 years to peel back the onion to find out why? Let’s stop this smoke and mirrors game now or at least have the choice of the taxpayer deciding directly in a referendum. *Source: City of Myrtle Beach publications based upon home value @ $132,667, 2 cars @$28,000, household water consumption of 7,500 gallons/month andmedium income of $37,064: If your demographic is higher, so is the cumulative raise in other taxes and fees. WE the People DEMAND a Referendum Vote!