Cities that have incorporated since the mid-1990s are better off economically, provide more and better services to their residents and find that quality of life improves.
Incorporation does not mean an automatic increase in taxes. As a city, Port Charlotte could gain revenues from MSBUs ( Municipal Service Benefit Unit). These revenues are substantial, amounting to an approximate $9M/year.
Through revenue sharing the new city could set the rate of taxation for the communication tax, utility fee, electricity fee, propane gas fees, gas tax, and many others. The higher rate of taxation in Charlotte County would work in our favor as there is already a substantial flow of money that could be used to fund the City of Port Charlotte without adding an ad valorem tax.
The city would take over:
Roads and storm drainage ( already paid for in Greater Port Charlotte MSBU) additionally the city could choose to "sunset" these MSBUs once the project for which they were initiated is completed. Residents could have a chance to vote on the creation of new MSBUs for additional projects.
Planning, zoning and building inspections ( we would be allowed to set planning, zoning, permitting and building inspections within the state guidelines)
Water and sewer services and utilities ( continue to be provided by Charlotte County)
Code enforcement allowing us to have active, rather that passive, enforcement of code violations if we chose to do so
Sheriff's Dept., Fire Protection and Emergency Medical Services are already covered under an MSBU that is already on our tax bill. We would not have to replace equipment and personnel but could continue with our current arrangement.
Administrative personnel would be at our discretion. Cities that contract out the majority of services would need few employees and be cheaper to maintain as pension and insurance costs would be the responsibility of the contractor and spread out over additional municipaties. Recently incorporated cites maintain 9 or fewer employees.
Pay and benefits for City Council members.
If the city could provide the cost of operations through existing revenue sharing taxes, taxes would not go up and could go down.
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