It is no surprise to the people of Alachua County that we labor under a high cost of living here, but to be in the top four metro areas in Florida is not a leader board that we should be proud to be on. Our high cost of living is further complicated by the fact that 2006-10 Census data puts Alachua:
- 28th in the state for per capita income (below the national and state number),
- 45th in median household income (again below the national and state values), and
- 16th in median family income (below the national but slightly above the state).
It is those with the least that struggle the most under this burden.
To discover what causes this high cost of living one needs to only look at other lists Alachua County tops within Florida: among the highest property taxes, the highest energy costs, and a seemingly never-ending deluge of fees, assessments and new taxes.
The answer to these problems is not more of the same; there needs to be a voice of reason representing the people on the Alachua Board of County Commissioners.
The high cost of living and other policies that drive down economic growth and stagnate wages are the subjects that convinced me to run for office. As your county commissioner, you can trust that I will be a voice against increased taxes and fees. I will work to see that everyone has a say in their utility. I will introduce and advocate for policies that allow all businesses to locate here and thrive, not just those with connections and deep pockets.
As a citizen, I am excited to see the community coming together to discuss these issues and to work on solutions. I look forward to attending future events and hearing my neighbor’s thoughts on this subject. I hope that those of you who can will come as well. And if you see me at one of our events or around town, feel free to discuss this or any topic.