I just got a certified copy of my birth certificate in the mail today. The original one has been lost since 1982 when David and I applied for our marriage license - we used it that day and no one has seen it since. But, I haven't needed it. Until Now.
It would be awesome if I could write that we'd planned some lovely trip that required a new passport - but nope, that's not what it is for. I need it to renew my Florida Drivers License....never needed it before, but need it now. Suddenly, despite living here since 1976 and getting my license then, I have to prove who I am. I don't only have to bring in my birth certificate, I also have to bring in my marriage certificate because I got a name change way back then....!
And I just can't renew online - I have to go in to have a vision test - despite the fact that I have one of those annually through my health plan....surely if I have to dig out my marriage license, and send off (and pay $12.50) for my birth certificate my receipt from my last annual eye exam should be sufficient, but no....I have to lose hours of my day to prove that I am not blind.
So why do I suddenly need to prove that I'm an American Citizen and a legal Florida Resident who had a legal reason for her name change..... is this a further intrusion of the Feds into our States rights?....Oh, I know that the "official" reason is something to do with homeland security......by 2017 we'll all have to have "official" national ID cards (read our Driver's Licenses or an ID card from the DMV) to enter Federal Buildings and board a plane. Supposedly, its also to make identity theft harder.....yeah right.
And to add insult to injury....the fees for renewing my license have more than doubled...from $20.00 to $47.00.....and if I go to the combined office of tax collector in the town located closest to me instead of to the larger town where the offices aren't combined - I have to pay an additional tax collector's service fee of $6.50....which I'll do simply because there will be no line to stand in when I go there....the increase is supposed to be for Road Improvement - wait a minute weren't the Stimulous Funds supposed to provide infrastructure improvement with shovel ready jobs to keep the unemployment rates down....? Well, wasn't it?
And those fee increases? They weren't the only ones imposed on Florida residents since September 1 of 2009 - our tag registration costs nearly doubled as well - we paid $47.00 in 2008 and $78.00 in 2009 (times 3 all on the same day in November- happy birthday from the Government~~) Let's not forget the fishing and hunting license tax increases....and the new requirements for those fishing licenses which include types and places of fishing that didn't require licensing in the past..........and starting on the first of this month - our employers now pay a 78% percent increase in unemployment taxes....(a result of the federal mandate to extend unemployment benefits because the Stimulous Plan hasn't delivered~~) can you say "more layoffs" or at the very least - "no hiring"? In 2009, one small business owner paid $3,188 in taxes. Next year he’ll be paying $10,098 for the same number of workers.
Hey, Florida Politicians! Are you watching the race in Mass today? Are you listening? Regardless of who wins today's race, there is a message that is being sent to you here locally - not just to Washington. With 11 % unemployment in this state - with folks who can't afford to put groceries on their tables fishing to feed their families, you keep increasing our taxes and fees......if you haven't heard us yet, November is on its way.