Last weekend, the Developer-owned Daily Sun littered many a driveway with an unwanted, unasked-for advertisement supplement. This single-bagged advertisement supplement sat in the rain getting soaked and had to be removed throughout the neighborhood in homes that were empty to prevent debris from building up. Even worse, the supplement touts the paper as “Truthful, Honest and Respectful” which could not be farther from the truth. It is not just what the Daily Sun prints, but it also what the Daily Sun fails to print. The result is an extremely biased, one-sided, pro-Developer message that is pure propaganda. Residents want both sides of an issue, not propaganda. Many of the Daily Sun’s stories are so grossly one-sided that even some of the Developer’s supporters are looking for answers from another source.
A good example is the many “articles” about increasing the road impact fee that developers pay because their development necessitates the building of additional county roads. The Daily Sun calls it a “tax,” instead of the fee it is. The Tax Foundation, an independent organization specializing in exposing governmental tax fraud, explains that “a tax has the primary purpose of raising (general) revenue. By contrast, a fee recoups the cost of providing a (specific) service.”In the case of road impact fees, this service is building the new roads required by the Developer’s expansion into south Sumter County.
Thus, the road impact fee is clearly a fee. It is not a tax and should be paid by new development, not by the current residents. The same is also true of other county infrastructure, like fire and police stations and equipment, county jail, and libraries. Right now, the Developer only pays 40% of maximum allowable fee, and 0% of the cost of all other infrastructure needed to support new development. We, the current taxpaying residents, pay the rest. Every time, we pay our county taxes, we are, in reality, writing a check to the Developer in the amount of his infrastructure that we are paying for.
I have stopped my subscription to the Daily Sun. I just cannot continue to financially support its bias reporting. If you are a Villager with integrity and a sense of honesty, you would too. A simple act makes a huge statement. It is not just the subscription costs, but all the advertising income that is based on circulation. A decrease in the circulation decreases the advertising revenue. There are other sources for information about The Villages. If you want to know what is happening in The Villages, pick up a recreation news passed out in the recreation centers and stop supporting the bias of the Daily Sun.
Villager Reed G. Panos serves as the chair of Fair Government for Sumter, Inc.