Sunday, August 10, 2008

Injustice Repeated

Special to Pensacola Beach Blog by William L. Post:

Since the publication of Deceit Beach, The True Story, I have had overwhelming positive feedback. A reader of one of my newspaper Viewpoint articles wrote --
“It has warmed my heart to read your well thought out and written articles. I have wondered the very things you have so clearly articulated…”
Of particular interest to me is the history which the first leaseholders carry in their heads and the archival material which they possess. One of the first, and now a former leaseholder, wrote:
“As I was telling you today, people have short memories. When I was a flight instructor here in the late 50's I would fly over and look at waterfront properties. If I liked the looks of it I would inquire. Most waterfront property could be had from $3.00 to $30.00 a front foot or $300.00 to $3000 for a 100 foot lot. Taxes on the unimproved land were so low as to be negligible. Nobody wanted sand, mosquitoes and palmetto. Every one wanted to live in the latest modern subdivision. I came back in the 60's and little had changed except, there were ads for Pensacola Beach leases with no taxes ever. But when you considered that a $300.00 LEASE FOR 100 YEARS WAS $30,000.00 AND FEE SIMPLE OWNERSHIP WAS 300.00 IT DIDN'T SOUND LIKE SUCH A GOOD DEAL. The thing that decided it for me was the "no taxes." I believe I studied in Commercial law that baiting and switching on a contract was something called "fraud in the inducement,” which made the contract voidable. Wonder how Escambia County would cope with hundreds of voided contracts and have to buy them back at current prices? Thought you might like to know how it was in those times.”
One anonymous detractor protested my July radio interview and said in an online comment page, “please stop providing a forum for that crackpot Bill Post - his schtick is so tired.”

I replied online:
“I spent 16 months (and several thousand dollars) researching the topic of my book, Deceit Beach. This is considerably more time than the 15 seconds it took for you to write your commentary about me being a “crackpot.” It is clear to me, and probably to all others, that you have not read the book and that you are uninformed on its topic. But that short coming has a solution. Get a copy of the book and read it. If you find factual error in the contents of the book, please advise me so that I can make the correction for the next printing. Once you have read the book and researched the topic and wish to debate the facts, feel free to contact me at to set up a public debate time.”
Well, I did not hear from the anonymous detractor. I prefer to assume he has no facts with which to debate. The alternative explanations -- death, disease, amputation of his typing fingers -- are too horrific to contemplate.

The history is written and the facts available for all to read and see in illustrations. Hopefully, others will add to the research.

Unfortunately, the recent one-word "per curiam" decisions of Florida courts ignore the well documented history of behavior by Escambia County Commissioners and the SRIA. Through that silence, they sustain the injustice commenced in 1971 with the first taxing attempt.

On June 30, 1978, the Pensacola News Journal editorial board wrote about the injustice of the first attempt to tax the leaseholds, “If government itself won’t keep its promises, then we have come to a pretty sorry state.”

History does repeat itself and peoples’ memories are indeed short.


Second Story Creations said...

Your blog site was picked up by FloridaBNN at I wasn't aware of the beach tax issue even though I've been tied to Pensacola since 1991. Glad to see your keeping the fight for justice alive. Ann

Anonymous said...

Sort of OT: our idiot Congresscritter is running a poll on the sidebar of his official web site on drilling in the Gulf, and it was 63% for drilling when I stopped by to vote.

The Republicans just don't care about the coast. It's a resource for their friends to mine.