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Business Observer Thursday, Sep. 17, 2009 12 years ago

Survey: government cuts, more jobs

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The amount of Sarasota County residents who rate the county's quality-of-life as either excellent or good is a robust 89% — and a 3% increase over people who responded that way last year.

No doubt, Sarasota County officials will want to trumpet this nugget from its latest annual survey of its citizens: The amount of local residents who rate the county's quality-of-life as either excellent or good is a robust 89% — and a 3% increase over people who responded that way last year.


Not too bad, especially considering the recession, as the survey's authors point out. But county officials should hold off on scheduling a backslapping parade.


That's because the survey, based on the responses of 800 full-time county residents, also highlights the county's clear challenges when it comes to recruiting and retaining businesses. While job losses were the number one perceived threat to the economy, two other threats also scored high in the survey: property tax rates and government waste and inefficiency.


Furthermore, 33% of the respondents say taxes are the chief reason some industries and companies are leaving the county. While the type of tax isn't broken down in the survey, it's sure to include some of the impact fees and other costs businesses must incur just for the right to do business in the county.


The citizen's survey was commissioned by the county and administered by the Florida Institute of Government at USF Sarasota-Manatee.

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