Won't incorporation increase the bureaucracy and make it more difficult to get things done?
By incorporating, Port Charlotte city management would replace county management. Almost all municipal services, regulations, and response to citizen concers would be handled by the Port Charlotte government body.
Won't this increase my taxes?
Initially, the answer is probably yes but only slightly. We are early in the process and we can't be accurate until we do a feasibility study to determine operational costs and revenue needed to cover the costs and establish necessary reserve funds. Part of the reason is that we will have to contract most services back to the county until we can set up our own departments. The goal would be to do this as
quickly as possible. Additionally Port Charlotte would share in much of the revenue the county collects in taxes (except for Ad Valorem or Property Tax). This revenue would offset the amount needed in taxation. Punta Gorda's tax rate is actually less than out-county so we know that it's doable.
What do we need to do to incorporate?
The Florida Legislature creates a municipality. In order to be considered, the municipality must demonstrate that:
citizens within the proposed municipality want to form a city government - voter referendum
conduct a feasibility study that demonstrates that the municipality will be financially sound.
Write a charter
submit the above materials to the Florida Legislature and request that our representatives submit a bill to the same plus additional specified paperwork
Citizens of the proposed municipality must fund the feasibility study and charter development. This means that we will need to conduct a fund raising campaign to get the money necessary to fund the development of the feasibility study.