You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myPalmBeachPost.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myPalmBeachPost.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myPalmBeachPost.com.

Cerabino: A taxing solution to pay for Trump’s Mar-a-Lago getaways


I just don’t see Mar-a-Lago as a “municipal service benefit unit.

I’ve been to the Palm Beach estate only a few times, so I’m no expert. But I’m certain that after being in close proximity to this majestic 20-acre estate, I’ve never found myself muttering under my breath, “Pretty nice municipal service benefit unit you got over here.”

Those words, “municipal service benefit unit,” sound more like a description of a ring of prostitute meter maids than anything that has to do with Mar-a-Lago, which has become a kind of winter White House for President Donald Trump.

County Commissioner Dave Kerner came up with this handle for Mar-a-Lago as a possible way for the county to be reimbursed for the recurring expenses of providing security and traffic control for the president during his getaway Florida weekends.

The weekend presidential visits have shut down nearby Lantana Airport, created traffic routing and protest protocols, and left the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office footing the bill for more than a million dollars in security costs and overtime payments.

In a more reasonable world, the federal government would make timely payments to Palm Beach County for making Trump’s stays safe. But discussions with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Secret Service, the Congressional Budget Office and the Federal Emergency Management Agency has done bupkes to shake free any money.

Something had to be done. If Sheriff Ric Bradshaw complained any more about not getting paid, he’d probably find himself being called “the failing Sheriff Bradshaw” in presidential tweets.

So Kerner floated the idea of turning Trump’s private club into its own taxing district as a way to raise the money.

It would be just another taxing district, like the ones we have for mosquito control or for dredging the shallow spots in the Intracoastal Waterway. I imagine this tax will eventually be shouldered by the club’s members, which probably won’t create an economic hardship, considering that they’ve already been anesthetized by the doubling of the club’s initiation fee to $200,000 after Trump’s election.

But I think we owe them the courtesy of gussying up the name of this tax to proper Palm Beach standards.

Here are a half-dozen suggestions, with the pros and cons for making each choice:

*

Suggested name: The Tweeting Sanctuary Taxing District

Pro: Could be cited by Kellyanne Conway as a pro-environmental initiative

Con: Dangerous for national security to encourage further Twitter use by president

*

Suggested name: Bingham Island Improvement District

Pro: Highlights the use of Southern Boulevard Bridge causeway as something other than a protest zone and a place for TV reporters to do live stand-ups

Con: Might encourage high-rise condo project there

*

Suggested name: Make Overtime Great Again Taxing District

Pro: Putting Americans to work at keeping other Americans far away

Con: Going to need more red ball caps

*

Suggested name: The Semi-Seasonal Supplemental Surcharge

Pro: Reminds club members that expenses will stop accruing after April

Con: Eliminates possibility of starting Trump University summer session

*

Suggested name: Foreign Labor Opportunity Zone

Pro: Fosters international understanding of club members through their interaction with foreign workers hired through the H-2B visa program

Con: Will make unemployed Americans wonder why they weren’t hired

*

Suggested name: You’re Going to Love This Taxing District, You Really Well, Buh-lieve Me, Taxing District

Pro: Promoted to members by the president, himself

Con: May include air quotes around the word “love.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Man whose parents locked him away for 2 years wants them to stay in prison
Man whose parents locked him away for 2 years wants them to stay in prison

For two years, Mitch Comer’s mother and stepfather, Sheila Comer and Paul Comer, kept him locked inside a bedroom in his family’s rental home in Georgia. He was shut off from the outside world and even his two younger sisters until September 2012. By then, Comer, who was 18 at the time, was loaded on a bus and sent to Los Angeles with...
Inmate accused of plotting murders of sexual assault victims
Inmate accused of plotting murders of sexual assault victims

An inmate in a Pennsylvania jail the Allegheny County Jail is accused of plotting the murders of five juveniles who accused him of sexual assault. Michael Scherbanic, 29, a prisoner in the Allegheny County Jail and is now charged with 27 new criminal counts, including solicitation to commit criminal homicide.  >> Read more trending news...
NEW: Man resembling sexual predator seen near Jensen Beach park
NEW: Man resembling sexual predator seen near Jensen Beach park

A person resembling a violent sexual predator recently released from prison was spotted Wednesday near a Jensen Beach park, the Martin County Sheriff’s Office said. An anonymous caller reported that 65-year-old Ernest Eugene Reigh was near Indian Riverside Park, off Sewall’s Point Road about two miles north of the Hutchinson Island Causeway...
Dalia Dippolito lawyers seek contempt charge against prosecutors
Dalia Dippolito lawyers seek contempt charge against prosecutors

Less than a week after the judge issued a gag order against lawyers in Dalia Dippolito’s upcoming murder solicitation retrial, her attorneys are asking him to hold prosecutors in contempt for allowing Boynton Beach Police to keep a viral video from the case on the department’s YouTube page. Defense attorney Greg Rosenfeld on Tuesday filed...
Woman stranded in AZ wilderness for 5 days, left clues for rescuers
Woman stranded in AZ wilderness for 5 days, left clues for rescuers

A Texas woman is recovering after a life-threatening ordeal in the Arizona desert. Texas college student Amber VanHecke, 24, ran out of gas on a sightseeing trip to the southern rim of the Grand Canyon on March 12. She was traveling by herself and told ABC News that she made a wrong turn based on directions from her GPS. She ended up in the middle...
More Stories