To the Editor: Please consider the following open letter I recently sent to all members of the bridge authority.
My wife and I recently made Boca Grande our permanent residence. As such, we will be using the bridge almost daily. Therefore, we have taken a more active role in following the progress of the new bridge plans.
We would prefer that the toll structure of the bridge remain as it is and pay our fair share of the cost for the bridge construction through a millage increase. I understand it would be in the range of 1 mill. I am sure you folks are receiving many suggestions and they most certainly span many alternatives. The reasons for our decision are highlighted below:
1) The use of a millage increase is deductible on our Federal 1040 taxes. This indirectly forces the federal government to partially fund the bridge re-construction. This is one of the few ways that islanders can ever expect a federal subsidy for our bridge.2) The bridge is used daily by many employees and workers on the island. These are the folks that can afford a bridge toll increase the least.3) We feel that an increase in the toll will result in decreased usage of the bridge which is the start of a downward spiral for bridge revenues.4) It will be embarrassing to invite off-island guests to our home when they have to pay an excessive toll just to keep island real estate taxes in check.
Thank you for considering our suggestions in your future decisions. Gerry Getman Boca Grande
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