Broward Lawmakers’ New Idea: Tax Playgrounds!




Let’s call this what it is:

The Jared Moskowitz and Eleanor Sobel’s Playground Tax Bill.

State Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood, and State Rep. Moskowitz, D-?*, introduced a bill this week which would essentially tax playgrounds for inspections.

Oh, the two Democrats call it an inspection fee.  Lawmakers in both parties have long disguised new taxes as fees.

And who ends up paying every fee and tax?  You and me.

The bill states that after July 1, 2015, all playgrounds described in SB 1614 and HB 1431 would be required to meet national standards.

So far so good.

Then the bill continues. It authorizes cities and counties to charge for a required inspection of the playgrounds every five years.

Playgrounds covered by the proposal would be indoor or outdoor “areas designed for children that has one or more nonmachanized structures, including swings, seesaws, stationary spring-mounted animal features, rider-propelled merry-go-rounds, climbers, slides, and surfacing material.”

It would include any facility “open to the public and includes a subdivision, park, school, apartment complex, hotel, motel, resort, campground, office, hospital, shopping center, child care facility, homeowners’ association, or restaurant.”

The bill language states it is needed because between five and fifteen children die nationwide annually due to defective playground equipment.

It also states that standards are needed to shade the outdoor playgrounds. Shade would protect children from skin cancer later in life.

Most businesses already want safe equipment in their playgrounds to safeguard their customers.

Most businesses also want safe equipment for a selfish reason: To protect them from a lawsuit.

You can decide whether we need another government process, fueled by what is essentially a new tax.


(* Jared Moskowitz is one of the Broward Democrats has been accused of living outside of his district.  I have no idea where he really, really lives. Hence the question mark. )

21 Responses to “Broward Lawmakers’ New Idea: Tax Playgrounds!”

  1. Duke says:

    How about a fee to inspect legislatures’ homes to see if they’re really living within their district?
    This is overkill, for the reasons stated.

  2. GOPapa says:

    To be expected from a pair of Democrats who never saw a tax they didn’t like.

  3. Sick of Them says:

    The Democrats idea for everything is more regulation and more taxes so this bill from two of Broward’s most liberal Democrats should not surprise anyone. @Duke was right that this bill should investigate Moskowitz, who doesn’t live in his district.

  4. count lf chodkiewicz chudzikiewicz says:

    I do not know whether Mr begins gets depressed when he writes these stories, but it depresses me. It is one thing to oppose gutting programs for the poor and needy by conservatives but what is accomplished by my fellow Jewish democrats to create a burden like this for seniors and working class people? I sm sorry this is absolutely idiotic

  5. Ha Ha Ha says:

    The inspections are needed, for compliance with national standards and especially for the new shading requirements. But the inspection fee is counterproductive.

    We want to encourage playgrounds, which are already expensive enough. Although the standards and inspections are necessary, they will likely result in the periodic need to buy new playground equipment. That’s certainly enough of a burden already.

    These playground inspections should be free of charge. There should also be an online database showing the date and results of each playground’s last inspection, which ideally would be integrated into a visual mapping system like that provided by the Broward County Property Appraiser. Parents could view each playground’s safety inspection reports online at any time.

  6. GET OVER IT says:

    If any of you have been following the legislative session, you would see that whether he lives in his district or not, it does not matter. They took a VOICE vote that would allow the entire legislative body to make a decision on what to do. GET OVER IT ALREADY! They are not going to do anything about it, and we have bigger fish to fry anyway! Just do what Congress does, let them live where they please! We are wasting time talking about this! MOVING ON!

  7. SAM FIELDS says:

    Dear Ha,

  8. Great Idea says:

    Why don’t they hire lawyers to do the inspections … they are really good at making something out of nothing.

  9. Sam The Sham says:

    Oh you horrible people! You want our children to lose their fingers and toes and have their heads chopped off by malfunctioning stationary spring-mounted animal features! Oh the humanity!

    STOP ALREADY! We don’t need national standards, we only need safe playgrounds. They don’t all have to be the same. How about cities maintain their playgrounds so we don’t have to sue them for recovery?

  10. Good Idea says:

    Why don’t we put lawyers in charge of the inspections … even Sam Fields … they can all make something out of nothing.

  11. West Davie Resident says:

    As a parent of two kids under 6, I can attest there are many poorly maintained playgrounds which need somebody to ensure that they are safe.

    Sadly they are mostly city owned so this law will only require the cities to inspect themselves which they should be doing anyway. I have found HOA and business owned play areas to be well maintained since they are privately owned and each has a vested liability interest.

    I am curious about the shade requirements as it appears to be coming out of the same playbook as the new handicap access rules for public pools which have cost HOA, apartment, and other public operators tens of millions of dollars.

    In sum, this proposed feel good law will have more negative consequences than positive so it should not be passed.

  12. Floridan says:

    What a stupid argument — if playgrounds are to be inspected there are two choices, charge the playground owner an inspection fee (which would probably work out to about $20,annually) or don’t charge the owners, in which case the inspecting agency will have to cover the cost, and who ends up paying for that?

    Inspection of playgrounds every five years hardly seems onerous, but it is a convenient target for those for whom complaining about everything is a form of recreation.


    You obviously haven’t dealt with city inspectors lately. Try $100 to $300 and up.

    First of all, inspectors first want plans to review. Owners will have to pay to get those plans drawn. Once the plans are approved, an inspector comes to the property.

  13. Ha Ha Ha says:

    @11 – Here are some good links on the importance of playground shading:
    @12 – Buddy – It’s very unlikely that plans will have to be drawn up. Current national standards for playground inspections in the United States are based on the completion of standardized inspection forms by certified playground inspectors.

  14. Ha Ha Ha says:

    Here’s a link to an interactive map of Palm Beach County playground inspection reports provided by WPTV in August 2012:

  15. Spoiled Rotten says:

    Moskowitz is a rich kid who never did anything on his own unless his daddy was paying for it. He thought the law about living in your district didn’t apply to him and that daddy would solve any problems. He is a pig.

  16. John Henry says:

    @Spoiled Rotten

    I think Daddy will be money off this inspection law scam

  17. Duke says:

    I meant to say legislators’ homes.

  18. West Davie Resident says:

    Dear Ha,

    Thanks for your links on the benefits of sun shades.

    But I don’t agree it should be a government mandate. My wife and I usually only take our kids to playgrounds with sun shades especially on hot sunny days. But it is OUR choice to do so. Do you not think most parents can make their own decision about the same? If parents stop going to certain parks because of lack of sun shades, then park operators can either make their own improvement or have an empty playground.

    Also, there is something called sun screen lotion which we spray on our kids as needed. Perhaps this should be mandated to by you and your big government friends?

    You, Debbie Wasserman, and Hillary “It Takes A Village” Clinton need to stop telling us what is best for our kids.

  19. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    And you wonder why the rest of the state would like Broward to go away?

  20. Ha Ha Ha says:

    @18 – Government regulates children’s car seats and mandates their purchase and use in order to protect the lives and safety of all children, not just those children whose parents would have always used a good car seat anyway.

  21. Kevin Cregan says:

    Thank God they’re only in session a couple of months each year. Total overkill. My wife and I spend a lot of time at playgrounds with our grandchildren….indoor and outdoor….public and private. They are all very well maintained.