— Steve’s Marketplace —
Editor’s note: Contributing columnist, Steve Nicklas, expresses his views and insight on various topics in Marketplace.
Nassau County officials are pursuing their own version of the flawed “Build Back Better” initiative of their federal-level peers. Even the staccato B-B-B letters are similar.
Except the local rendition goes more like “Build Bigger Budgets.” And it’s disheartening, disingenuous and ultimately, dire. This involves the big three elected bodies – the Nassau County Commission, the Nassau County School Board, and the Fernandina Beach City Commission.
All are parties to rampant, wasteful spending. Especially during this period of prosperity when their tax receipts are lavishly abundant. And yet, they fail to exercise fiscal restraint. It’s not about what they need anymore, it’s about what they want. Like additional vehicles and employees and projects.
In recent years, the respective boards have had difficulty rolling back their property-tax rates, which would generate the same revenues as the year before (in a period of rising property values, that is). They are primarily rolling back their tax rates, but not enough to avoid tax increases.
So this year, Jack Knocke of Common Sense Fernandina has suggested a novel idea. Let’s start the budgeting processes at the roll-back rate. Anything that would require an increase in spending above the roll-back rate would have to be justified. Instead of starting with a catch-all wish list, and then trying to pare back expenses like they do now.
Not to be outdone with unbridled spending, their federal-level brethren are proposing a $5.8 trillion budget for the coming year. This is about 30 percent above the normal budget. Lavish spending on the federal level has triggered a bout of hyper-inflation that has eyes watering and prices screaming.
Let’s not continue this irreversible trend on the local level. And just because you have tax revenues coming in doesn’t mean you have to spend them. Maybe save them for a rainy day, the kind that occurs during hurricanes, for instance.
Mickey Mouse has become woke. Sadly, the insanity of wokeness has sullied even the magical parks of Disney World. And some Disney employees are embracing it.
According to video reports, some executives are embracing the woke culture – and even bragging about it. You won’t even hear the traditional embrace of “ladies and gentlemen” at the parks anymore.
All gender has reportedly been castrated from park operations. These gender-neutral efforts have been in the making, but they got a shot of inspiration over a new Florida law.
The law has been designated unfairly as “Don’t Say Gay.” It simply prohibits the discussion of gender in Florida public schools prior to the fourth grade. You wonder why anyone would ask an eight-year-old child about his or her gender. But it’s the world we live in.
However, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is not backing down despite the Disney outrage. “They don’t run this state,” exclaimed DeSantis. “They only started to do this because the woke mob came after them.”
Steve Nicklas is a financial adviser with a regional brokerage firm who lives and works on Amelia Island. He is also an award-winning columnist. His columns also regularly appear in several weekly newspapers in North Florida, and on his website at SteveNicklasMarketplace.com. He has published a book, “All About Money,” of his favorite columns from the past 20 years. The book is available on Amazon. He can be reached at 904-753-0236 or at [email protected].