A 2-story building at 171 Booker Place is owned by a Lake Worth church that had hoped to renovate it as a homeless residence. But that plan fizzled, and the complex “has become a blighted nuisance to the surrounding community, and a haven for illegal activity (drugs being sold, prostitution, drug-use, and other illicit activities),” City Manager Chandler Williamson said Tuesday in an email to County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay, whose district includes the Glades.
“The Broken Window Theory is in plain sight,” Williamson wrote, referring to a doctrine that says a broken window suggests no one cares and helps lead to blight and crime.
Williamson said the owners have offered to sign the place over. But there’s $22,000 in back taxes. Williamson asked for a break. No, the county said. Its hands are tied.
“We cannot waive taxes,” Sherry Brown, director of the county’s Office of Financial Management and Budget, said in an email. “If the city takes ownership, they are responsible.”
Williamson couldn’t be reached to learn the city’s next move.
Now that Tuesday’s primary is over, expect to hear more from Palm Beach County officials about why it’s a great idea to raise the county’s sales tax. Expect to hear a lot more about that.
On Wednesday night, county staff members began circulating a draft copy of a brochure laying out information about the sales tax and reminding readers that “Election Day Is November 8, 2016.”
County officials can’t make political arguments in favor of raising the sales tax, but they can “educate” voters on what they see as the benefits of an increase. The county will rely on the Economic Council of Palm Beach County for the political push.
The proposed increase from 6 cents on the dollar to 7 cents on the dollar would raise an estimated $2.7 billion over the next 10 years.
That overall figure is not included on the brochure, which was put together by Assistant County Administrator Todd Bonlarron.
The brochure does note that the county would get 30 percent of the proceeds, with cities getting 20 percent and the School District of Palm Beach County getting the remaining 50 percent.
Also included on the brochure are phrases residents should expect to hear often over the next couple months, including the argument that the funds are to be used on “the three R’s: Repair Restore Replace.”
And, of course, the brochure describes the plan as “one county, one penny.”