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Date of Issue: March 22, 2007

CART joining statewide alliance for tax reform

The grassroots Citizens Against Runaway Taxation formed in 2004 in Holmes Beach by Island residents and business owners dissatisfied with high property tax increases every year is merging with other tax protest organizations statewide to form a group to be known as the Florida Taxpayers Alliance.

CART executive director Don Schroder of Holmes Beach said that CART, along with the Homeowners Against Rising Taxation organization, will both join the FTA.

Schroder spoke to The Islander in advance of an expected Monday, March 19, announcement by CART about the affiliation plan.

"It was obvious to our groups that we had similar goals," Schroder said.

In addition, Schroder was to speak about tax reform, CART and the FTA at the Rotary Club noon luncheon Tuesday, March 20, at the BeachHouse Restaurant in Bradenton Beach.

The current session of the Florida Legislature is considering a number of tax reform proposals, including an increase of the sales tax to 10 percent, while at the same time eliminating or limiting ad valorem tax rates. The Legislature is also considering the methods of valuation used by the various county property appraisers in Florida that operate in a non-home rule county.

Schroder and CART have long campaigned for tax appraisal reform, claming that the "highest and best use" appraisal method used on the Island by the Manatee County Property Appraiser’s Office is killing off "mom-and-pop" motels and businesses that can no longer afford to operate because of gargantuan tax increases the past five years.