Marion County Citizens Fight to Get "Amendment 11" Passed
It was a pretty heated county commission meeting with many people in support of a propsed tax cut called "Amendment 11."
Most people expressed their anger and frustration because the board did not pass the proposal three months ago.
Amendment 11 was approved by voters statewide last November, but only can be implemented by each county.
While Marion County commissioners listened to what citizens had to say on Tuesday, they did not vote again.
On February 19, 2013 Marion County Commissioners voted 3 to 2 against implementing a property tax reduction for some senior citizens.
Now three months later, some residents are fighting back.
"Where is the respect for a big segment of the population of this county and where is your accountability to us. shame on you all," said a Marion County citizen.
At Tuesdays meeting supporters came up to the podium. One by one.
"Everyone will not be able to retire with a million dollar retirement pension plan, but these people have paid their dues here in Marion County and I believe that they deserve to have this exemption," said Angela White who is a Marion County citizen.
All making sure their voices were heard.
"You are supposed to have no ideology up there. You are supposed to do what the people of the county tell you to do and what we told you to do was give the old people a break and you didn't do it," said a Marion County citizen.
The tax exemption would help seniors with a household salary less than $27,000 a year and who have lived in their home more than 25 years.
If passed it would cost the county about $162,000 a year.
"The cost is miniscule. That being the case I am baffled as to why it has become such a big issue for the commissioners. Do the right thing. Look out for the seniors. Those who don't have much longer to live," said Viviane Lee who is a Marion County citizen.
While most of the people were in support of Amendment 11, some other citizens hope the commission won't budge.
"If you include one group what makes it not necessary for another group to also be excluded. Once you exclude all these groups then you have to raise taxes to provide the same level of services to the ones that are left," said Sam McConnell.
For Amendment 11 to pass, four commisisoners would have to be in favor.
Something that hasn't happened yet, but supporters are hoping that with time the board will have a change of heart.
"We will keep fighting this fight until the word of the people gets heard on this commission," said a Marion County citizen.
Alachua and Columbia County Commissioners have not discussed or voted on Amendment 11.
During budget workshops in june, Columbia County Commissioners will talk about implementing Amendment 11.
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