Citizens for a Better Nassau
Submitted by Philip Griffin
January 11, 2016 10:00 a.m.
While many folks might see recent new housing as a sign of a healthy economy, there is an underlying fiscal crisis looming with our local government. The simple fact is that Nassau County has evolved into a bedroom community, where folks sleep at night and send their kids to school here while they work and shop in nearby counties. The result is that taxes do not support the cost of services that people expect and deserve.
Maintaining county roads, providing decent fire and police protection, providing quality schools and maintaining basic social services all cost money. With a tax base limited to residential ad valorem, much of it homesteaded or exempt, we simply cannot fund essential services. “Just say No” and other clichés will not solve the basic math problem. We need to balance our economy with homegrown jobs and create commercial activity that will pay taxes to subsidize the residential tax base.
A group of concerned residents of Nassau County launched an education effort, ‘Citizens for a Better Nassau County,’ which I strongly support. We started this effort as a way to educate fellow community members on the troubling fiscal status of the county and to outline guiding principles to prevent it from hitting rock bottom.
In order maintain a healthy government we need the balance of residential, commercial, office and industrial development. The best way for Nassau County to achieve long-term financial sustainability is through balanced growth and economic development that broadens the tax base and creates new high-quality, high-wage jobs that benefit the county as a whole.
Currently, Nassau County is still borrowing from its reserves so we, as taxpayers, have not yet seen or felt the effects of this crisis. However, should we not take action now to prevent the financial crisis that is on the horizon, rest assured, we will feel it in our wallets. If you have not done so already, I ask that you visit CitizensforaBetterNassau.com to learn more about the effort and the county.
Editor’s Note” Philip Griffin and his wife, Janet, have resided in Fernandina Beach, Fla., since 2001. They have owned and operated Amelia Coastal Realty since 2005.
For information on Burton & Associates report, visit “A disturbing view’ Nassau County Commissioners gaze at fiscal cliff” by Adam Kaufman.