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Saturday, August 13, 2022

Ocala residents share thoughts on property taxes, retirement

In response to recent Letters to the Editor, several Ocala residents wrote in and shared their thoughts and concerns regarding property taxes and retirement:

“We, the older generation in Ocala, need a break on taxes. Why do we have to continue to pay taxes on property that is already paid for and was taxed already? Why should the elderly have a school tax on our bill when we are not baby boomers and have no children in school? I feel once a property is all paid for, it should not be taxed any more. Those of us that live in the county are taxed without representation as we are not allowed to vote. I had questioned this and of course got an evasive answer of ‘that is how it is.’ Really? Well, change it, because it does not serve us at all to pay taxes and not have a voice. It does not serve us to pay taxes for things that have nothing to do with us (i.e. school tax, money for roads which are not fixed properly, etc.). The bottom line is that elderly who have already paid for their properties in full should not have to pay taxes on these same properties again, ever. Those that still have a mortgage should have a major tax break as well,” says Ocala resident Marta Varnell.

“We purchased this home in Ocala and are very happy here. We decided to sell our home, and with that I switched the homestead to this home. And wouldn’t you know it, my home tax was increased by almost $1,000. Coincidence? My 65 years on this Earth taught me that when dealing with politicians and bureaucrats, there are no coincidences. So what happened to “this is Florida, the retirement state?” I moved to Florida, came out of retirement, and drove for the county for many years. Then I became disabled. I didn’t ask for it, they disabled me. With that, I believe in a well run town, and state disabled and retired people should be placed into a different category. After all, we are entitled to live our life where we thought retired people would get a fair shake: Florida. After all, we did start paying into the system since childhood with our first job. My working career began at 12 years old and I began paying taxes at 14. Shouldn’t that be enough? I’ve worked my way up from a mechanic to technician to manager to fleet director for more than 30 years. Put me in charge and remove the front doors, because shortly after I take over, the front doors will only slow down the firings,” says Peter Kontzamanis, Ocala resident.

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