The famous publisher Joseph Pulitzer once wrote that there is not a crime, not a dodge, not a trick, not a swindle, not a vice that does not live by secrecy.
Well the Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners took advantage of the laws of Florida (FS196) and gave a company a ten year ad valorem tax break and the company name must remain secret. This means there can be two identical businesses in Okaloosa County, with the same amount of income, and one can go under while the other prospers because it got a secret tax break courtesy of our County Commissioners. Does the BCC know or care about the free market or open government?
There was only one voice, the Chair of the local Libertarian Party, who spoke out against this blatant injustice enabled by bad law from Tallahassee. Not only do the County Commissioners get to decide who wins and who loses in the economy (as if they have a special ability to do so), it was also done away from the prying eyes and embarrassing questions of the companies who lose in this deal. They will never know they were discriminated against while they pay taxes.
First the Florida Auditor General’s report, now secret tax deals?
Kudos to Nathan Boyles for being the only Commissioner to vote against this nonsense.