College Park Community Newspaper : CPCN 032817
APRIL 2017 COLLEGEPARKPAPER.COM 10 Opinion COLLEGEPARKPAPER.COM Your tax dollars at work City Commissioner Robert Stuart If you are a property owner in the city of Orlando, you know that every summer you receive a TRIM (truth in millage) notice, which outlines what your anticipated rates will be for each jurisdiction that levies taxes on your property. In the City Beautiful, that means you pay taxes to Orlando, Orange County and the St. John’s River Water Management District. And then you pay local and state school taxes, as well as an Orange County library tax. Th e largest portion of your taxes, about 40 percent, goes to educate the leaders of tomorrow. Th e city of Orlando receives about 34 percent of your tax dollars, with almost all of that going toward keeping our residents as safe as we can through top-notch police and fi re protection. But what else? Where do your city tax dollars go? I want to highlight a small but important program that has assisted many small businesses in improving the exteriors of their buildings through new lighting, street-scaping, landscaping, signage, awnings, cleaning, painting, new windows and more. Orlando’s Small Business Facade Program was instituted in 2006 and has since allocated more than $1.2 million to small businesses in the form of depreciating loans that are entirely forgiven within three to fi ve years, depending on the amount borrowed. Th ese loans can be used to pay up to 50 percent of the cost of qualifying exterior improvement projects. District 3 businesses compose almost 40 percent of the businesses that have utilized this program since its inception, which makes me so proud of the entrepreneurial spirit in our com- munity. Great businesses such as Christo’s Cafe, Gribble Interiors, Golden Phoenix Antiques, Sweat, Balance Orlando, Ten 10 Brewing and Infusion Tea have spent their hard-earned money, with assistance from the city, to improve the aesthetics of their spaces, which provides added value to our entire neighborhood. Another smart program that encourages new businesses to locate to our community is the Business Assistance Program, which provides matching funds to new and expand- ing businesses in Orlando to assist in off setting development fees. Th ese fees can include sewer and transportation impact fees, building permit fees, and even all elements of public right-of-way infrastructure — within the city’s jurisdiction — that may require new instal- lation, repair, replacement or relocation. Eligible improvements would include items such as street lighting, fi re hydrant installation, sidewalk repair, traffi c signalization, water and sewer line construction, as well as curb, gutter, landscaping and street improvements. Structured similarly to the facade program, the Business Assistance Program requires eligible business owners pay 50 percent of the fees assessed against the business; the program fund pays the remaining 50 percent, up to $20,000. Orange Cycle, for one example, utilized this program during their expansion a few years ago. Restaurants like PR’s Taco Palace in College Park and Osprey Tavern in Baldwin Park have also taken advantage of this grant. Th ese programs are a sound use of taxpayer dollars. Th ey leverage a huge return when considering not only the capital investment these businesses make in our community but also the goods and services they provide to our residents, therefore improving our quality of life and making College Park and Orlando an awesome place to be! As always, thanks for your support of our local businesses and our great city. I look forward to seeing you around the neighborhood this month. Robert F. Stuart, District 3 Commissioner 407-246-2003 | Robert.Stuart@CityofOrlando to seeing you around the neighborhood this month. Robert F. Stuart, District 3 Commissioner I live for these little orange clearance tags. 90 percent off bruise cream? I have no bruises, but I’ll take three! If you’re like me, the only thing worse than “Th is Is Us” being preempted by a tornado watch is spending your hard-earned paycheck on stupid things like food and utilities. Luckily for us, there are a million simple ways to save money right from home and all around the 32804. I happen to have a black belt in frugality, and today I am going to share my cheapskate secrets with you so that we can open a money market account at the credit union. Everyone should do an annual bill renegotiation: block out a couple of hours to call your cell phone provider, cable company, insurance carriers, security company — everyone you pay monthly — and ask what the best deals are right now. Do a little research and tell them what their competitors are off ering. If they tell you there is nothing they can do for you, ask for their account retention department . Th ese are the people whose job it is to keep you as a loyal customer. Sometimes they’ll cut your bill in half, sometimes, they’ll double what you’re getting for your money. Last spring, I saved $70/month on my cell phone bill, which is basically my boxed wine budget. It’s always worth a call. Back in the day, there were entire websites devoted to pairingPublix sales with coupons from the Sunday paper. Now, Publix has clickable manufacturer coupons they’ll link to your Publix.com account. Th ey’ll automatically take off the discounts at the register when you enter your phone number. Do I love “the man” knowing I feed my kids copious amounts of Flavor-Blasted Goldfi sh? No, but 55 cents is 55 cents. Spa Nails across from CVS. Sure, a long weekend at a full-service spa in Napa would be great, but time, kids and being a cheapskate can be prohibitive. Th ankfully, Spa Nails off ers a BYOB pedicure for about $20 (plus the cost of your, uh, B). And if you ask nicely, they’ll even fl ip the TV over to the Travel Channel. Boom, you’re in wine country. Walgreens clearance. It’s everywhere, not just in the seasonal aisle. Last week, someone in my house who shall remain nameless — because I don’t want to embarrass him (but is not me or any of my children) — impaled himself on a garbage can. I won’t describe the gory details. Let’s just say I needed some seriously big Band- Aids. Fortuitously, Walgreens had half of its fi rst aid section on 90 percent clearance, so I bought all of it. Everything. Spent $24, saved $167 — and that, my friends, is aft erglow. Let’s meet up at one of the many great 32804 happy hours to celebrate. Using your savings to enjoy discounted drinks and apps isn’t spending ... it’s reinvesting dividends. Cheers! Lindsay Chamberlin is also a kindergarten teacher, minivan chauff eur, wife and blogger. email@example.com. Lindsay Chamberlin Family finance samurai: Pushin’ for a financial cushion , family. We are your neighbors, your friends, and just like TOM AND DEBORAH COOK Tom Cell : 407.963.9862 | Tom Email : firstname.lastname@example.org Deborah Cell : 407.963.9856 | Deborah Email : email@example.com TomAndDeborahCook.com TWO MINDS. ONE GOAL. WAY MORE THAN CHIROPRACTIC Exum Chiropractic Clinic offers a full range of: • Complete Chiropractic Care • Spinal Analysis • A Variety of Massages • Wellness Services • Weight Loss • Supplements • Sports Medicine • School Physicals WE ARE HONORED BY WHAT OUR PATIENTS HAVE TO SAY: “Exum produces results” “They helped me when no one else could!” “They go out of their way for me.” “They feel like family.” 3541 EDGEWATER DR, ORLANDO, FL 32804 PHONE:(407) 423-0038 EXUMCHIROPRACTIC.COM Chiropractic Clinic EXUM Dr. Robert J. Fritz, Jr., Dr. Daniel B. Moroff and staff are proud to be celebrating their 30th Year serving College Park!