Article By Tribune Herald
1. Sunshine. While our friends and relatives to the north are experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder caused by a succession of winter’s dark days, we wake up to magnificent sunrises and enjoy generally clear skies until another explosion of color at sunset.
2. No income taxes. Sure, our property tax picture is murky these days, but it’s good to remember that in many other states, the government takes a portion of workers’ earnings whether or not they own property.
3. Green trees and blooming plants year-round. It has amazed me since living in Florida to see flowers in the landscape all the time. I have lived in places where it got too cold for flowers in the winter and too dry for them in the summer. Not so here.
4. Diverse styles of living. Do you like the beach? Want to live near a golf course? Looking for an assisted living community? An RV park? Want a quaint town atmosphere? Florida has it all.
5. Recreational opportunities. Imagine living almost anyplace else and being able to fish year-round or take the boat out whenever the mood strikes. Where else is a walk on the beach pleasant nearly any time? A baseball fan? There are 18 major league teams that conduct spring training in Florida and two teams call Florida home for the regular season. Prefer football? There are three professional football teams in Florida, not counting the University of Florida, Florida State and the University of Miami.
6. Cultural amenities. Symphony orchestras, ballets, professional theater and museums all abound in the state and there won’t be any need to wait in the coat-check line when visiting them.
7. No need to buy snow tires or a four-wheel drive vehicle. Buy a boat instead.
8. Lots of new homes to choose from. Old residences are nice, but they require constant maintenance that eats up time and money.
9. A chance to create something really new. So much of Florida is still in the formative stages, towns are still being created, which makes it perfect for those interested in helping to build the foundation.
10. Did I mention the sunshine?
The advent of 2008 almost surely will not bring a solution to some of the difficult issues facing Florida. Diversifying the economy, resolving the questions surrounding taxation, building better roads, conserving water resources, saving wildlife areas and upgrading struggling schools are all on that list and deserve attention. But it’s good to keep in mind what we have as we strive to create a better Florida.