Mayor Bill Foster advocates for more taxes, err, I mean "fees"

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Only in the warped reality that Mayor Foster lives in are “taxes” and “fees” two completely separate and disconnected ideas. One (taxes) are to be avoided at all costs(even the cost of having to go to a judge to get a new “fee” approved instead of just raising the existing property tax millage rate which would not require judicial approval). The other(fees) are to be embraced in all ways, raising existing fees and created new ones that never existed(like doubling parking meter rates, adding hundreds of new meters, raising activity fees for recreational activities and the dozens of new and raised building fees in the city). Mayor Foster has spent his first two years in office creating all kinds of new fee-based revenue streams in order to avoid touching the dreaded “taxation” third rail of politics. He even got his buddy and co-Mayor on the City Council Jim Kennedy into the act by praising his “bold idea” for a new “fee” for property owners: “Mayor, let me commend you (for saying) that we actually need to raise revenue…“.

But in this most recent case that came up just last week, it’s time for Foster to face reality, the old proverb “If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and looks like a duck, it must be a duck” clearly applies here to his proposed “fire readiness fee”: it looks like a tax, sounds like a tax, and it appears on a tax bill, so it IS a tax, stop calling it a “fee”. It’s akin to the Mayor putting a plastic trunk on Petey, the city’s “First Dog”, and calling him an elephant, we just aren’t that dumb Mr. Mayor.

Cross-posted with permission of Bob Wilson of the Bill Foster Watch.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.