Letters on the Lee property in Alachua County, abortion, Ukraine, more

Issues of affordability 

Robert Knight’s thoughtful column (published May 15) makes a compelling case for conservation of the Lee property on Parker Road. A primary challenge is continued affordability to live in Alachua County.  

We are already beset with ad valorem taxes that are among the state’s highest, multiple municipal taxing authority units, some of the highest residential electric rates in the state and a dependence upon unsustainable huge revenue transfers from Gainesville Regional Utilities into the city’s general fund each year. Removing another 4,000 acres from the tax base will exacerbate the already high cost of living in Alachua County. 

Much county land is already exempt from local taxes — putting a huge burden on residents — yet local government maintains an unrealistic appetite for ever-more exempt land. This, coupled with local government’s antipathy toward any industry other than medicine or education, has created an enclave of extremes. There is an ever-diminishing opportunity for true middle-class families to afford the cost of residence here.

I lament what has happened to my hometown, but with a scant 15% of the population bothering to vote in city elections, we are assured of more and more wonderful ideas that are economically unfeasible and burdensome to “normal” residents. 

Thomas Lane, Gainesville 

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