Government over reach?
May 19, 2017


To the editor:

Monday's council meeting was rather eye opening. There was an attempt at serious government over-reach by the establishment with regard to short term rentals. The city wants registrations and mandatory inspections and many other regulations and procedures in order to own and operate short term rental properties. There are parts of the proposed legislation which appear to be next to impossible for the owners of these properties to understand and comply. Rental properties pay more taxes and fees than ordinary homesteaded properties or even long term leased or rented properties pay.

Short term rentals are important to the growth of Cape Coral. People rent them for vacation purposes. They come here and spend money in restaurants, on boat rental, in grocery stores and other various businesses. They also use short term rentals to get a "feel" for Cape Coral in order to determine if they might want to live here on a permanent basis. Prospective buyers use short term rentals in order to have a place to stay when looking for an opportunity to buy a home in Cape Coral. In fact you might say that this is a very good opportunity to "show case" our wonderful city. The question the council must ask, do we want to destroy this revenue generating vehicle? Do we want to stymie a segment of our economy that brings in huge sums of revenue? Do we want to destroy an economic means that helps business to prosper? And do we want to destroy a vehicle that is a gateway to our fine city?

As a taxpayer I say, be careful with this kind of legislation. Nothing but economic damage can come of this. Each and every one of our Council people ran on the basis of bringing in commercial development and creating jobs. This kind of legislation will do nothing but depress development in Cape Coral and is a job creating deterrent. If we really need to do this then it must be done in a proper fashion. After looking at ordinance 19-17 I have to wonder if we are capable of writing this kind of legislation without destroying an important segment of our economy.

On another note I find it very interesting that a $58 million budget amendment passes and not one single question is asked by anyone on Council Somehow it doesn't feel like we are getting any representation from our free spending City Council. I guess they figure that $58 million is a mere pittance and not worthy of even one question or of any discussion whatsoever. What's wrong with this picture? Election day cannot come soon enough.

John Sullivan

former mayor

Cape Coral


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