Where Are Your Tax Dollars Going?

by Joe Steckler

President, Helping Seniors of Brevard

Over the past month, I have watched the Brevard Cultural Alliance (BCA) cat and mouse game with our county commissioners regarding funding for local arts groups. Was there ever any doubt that the decision would once again enter the main ring for further discussion? I knew in my bones that the first round was not a done deal, that the subject would be revisited.

While I am not a fan of every event supported by the BCA, cultural organizations should be funded, as they bring in revenue and attract tourists and residents to the Space Coast. In addition, it should be noted that these events exist for the enjoyment of the participants—an important fact.

While the attack on the BCA grant was being formulated and put in motion, a similar attack was made on a one-million-dollar grant that helped support several nonprofit agencies. These agencies assisted seniors and others in need, often providing them with the very means of survival.

Consider for a moment a man 70 years old, living in a truck. His wife is in a hospital, waiting for room in a rehab center. After he visits her, the man then goes home…home to a truck. I am not going to go into the how’s and why’s of this situation, I will only say that such things do happen, more than you may realize. My main concern is the act of the county commissioners to use this money for other budget items. 

Organizations that serve single women and children, homeless people, hungry families, and seniors living in cars and sleeping in the woods all have a right to some help from our tax dollars. It seems ridiculous when five people – our commissioners – who have a highly paid county staff to accurately inform them of the need, make some of these poor decisions that adversely affect the lives of many. Can we do better?

Of course we can. It does not take a Harvard Law School graduate to see when our tax dollars are being wasted. It does not take the same type of person to see when decisions are being made for political gain.

Contact Helping Seniors at 321-473-7770, at www.HelpingSeniorsofBrevard.org, or at P.O. Box 372936, Satellite Beach, FL 32937.