(Make Believe) School Shootings

Yulee High School had an active shooter on campus this week. Likewise, Fernandina Beach High School had one a week ago.

No need for a school alarm, however. Both were make-believe, but designed to replicate a real-life situation. Such is the real-world condition of public schools these days.

Nassau County school officials should be praised for proactively combating potential violence with drills like these. In addition, individual schools here have been hardened, with fortified entrances and perimeters. We don’t want to relive the tragedies of other places.

Drills like these – where a pretend shooter actively roamed the grounds targeting students – will help safeguard against the real thing. And so far, so good in Nassau County.

During these drills, deputies could be seen running toward Yulee High School, ready to “engage” the shooter. The responses will be evaluated, and adjustments made. Officials from the School Board and the State Attorney’s Office observed.

At Fernandina Beach High School, city police conducted the active-shooter exercise there. Actors were placed in the school hallways to make it as realistic as possible. 

“Unfortunately, it’s the norm now,” says Sheriff Bill Leeper. “We have to be prepared for any situation.”

In coming years, Nassau County is poised for nearly 40 percent growth in population, according to projections. But there are sound reasons for this – not only here, but around the state.

It’s just cheaper to live here. And people are voting with their feet, moving south. A new report provides further ammunition to bolster Florida’s claim as a prudent destination.

Florida ranks No. 4 in terms of having the lowest tax burden and tax rate, among all 50 states and Washington, D.C. This was revealed in HireAHelper’s “True Tax Burden” study. HireAHelper is an online marketplace for hiring hourly movers.

The study intended to learn how much can be saved by moving from one state to another. The results are impactful. For instance, moving from Washington, D.C. to Florida saves $7,599 a year in taxes – per single resident.

 The study took into consideration wages in relation to income, sales and property taxes. In this way, it determined the “true” tax burden. Tennessee had the lowest tax burden per resident of $1,970 per year; the highest belongs to Washington, D.C.

 “Investigating state and local taxes is an important step in a resident’s decision of whether to move — or where,” says lead researcher Elyssa Kirkham. “When comparing possible destinations, these tax expenses should be given the same consideration as the local job market and wages, costs of living, and school zones.”

(Steve Nicklas is a financial advisor for a U.S. brokerage firm who lives and works on Amelia Island. He is also an award-winning columnist. His columns appear regularly in several newspapers in North Florida and South Georgia, and on his website: www.SteveNicklasMarketplace.com. He has also published a book, “All About Money,” consisting of some of his favorite columns over the past 20 years. The book is available at local stores and on Amazon. He can be reached at 904-753-0236 or at thenicklasteam2@msn.com.)

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