OPINION: Email Commissioners Now About Incorporation Vote – or Pay Later

Posted on May 3, 2024 by EDITORIAL BOARD

We received the following letter to the editor from Debbie Gunnoe, a staunch Conservative who is leading the effort to defend Navarre from the higher taxes and more government regulation incorporating would bring. PROTECT Navarre opposes incorporation; PRESERVE Navarre is a registered social welfare organization aiming to change Navarre through incorporating, which would create an additional layer of government and could impose up to 9 surtaxes on residents within city limits.

We STRONGLY encourage you to take a quick moment to email our commissioners after reading this LETTER TO THE EDITOR from Mrs. Gunnoe:

  • District1@santarosa.fl.gov
  • District2@santarosa.fl.gov
  • District3@santarosa.fl.gov
  • District4@santarosa.fl.gov
  • District5@santarosa.fl.gov

Incorporation will not bring back what’s gone, nor will it produce more land to be “preserved.”

Incorporation WILL place another layer of government over privately owned land and residents’ lives. It adds another layer to become corrupt, to control, and to levy more taxes.

Incorporation is not the answer to the problems perceived by those whose bumper stickers say, “It’s time.” (What does that mean?)

PROTECT Navarre is one hundred percent against incorporation. But actually, we are more for individual liberty, individual self-rule, and less government and regulations. We are emphatically against increased taxes.

Benefits? PRESERVE Navarre (pro-inc) says the number one benefit is to “lay the foundation to secure self-government and our God-given rights.” We don’t need incorporation to secure our God-given rights…those are ours by birth, not by man. Further, we already have self-government. We just need to work within the government we have. Our county commissioners are elected at large. We take issues or proposals to the board. If they don’t vote the way we need, we vote them out. The process is already there without additional control, regulations and taxes.

Costs? Those depend on what services the city provides and what will be contracted with the county. We continue to pay the same millage to the county (6.0953, 5.4460 and 0.0234), PLUS we would pay whatever millage the city government determines is required to cover their expenses. Those who live in Jay pay an additional 3.8000 in city millage, Milton is 2.9900 and Gulf Breeze is 1.9723. Then there are “hidden” city taxes…franchise fees/communication service taxes that may be added to your phone, entertainment media, internet and some utilities. Preserve Navarre would have you believe we will only pay an additional .95 millage to fund a $22M budget. Incorporation is not free. If you pay it (taxes), they will spend it (your money). Don’t be fooled by those who want to control your lives at your expense.

In summary, there are people who want Navarre to be changed like the place they left. PROTECT Navarre wants to leave people alone, to live within the government we already have. We certainly don’t want to add increased taxes to a family’s already stretched budget or negatively impact an elderly person’s limited income.

Like the other group, we also say, “It’s time.” But PROTECT Navarre says it’s time to leave the residents alone and let Navarre exist as it has for decades. “You came here from there because you didn’t like it there. Now you want to change here to be like there. You are welcome here. Only don’t try to make here like there. If you want to make here like there, you shouldn’t have left there in the first place.” Hmmmmm…I smell California.

Debbie Gunnoe, Navarre