By Kendelyn Schiller, JMI Intern & FSU Sophomore, Criminology Since the recession began in late 2007, Florida has increased taxes and fees on tobacco products, vehicle registration and licenses, slot machine licenses, park admissions, offshore fishing licenses, and other activities and transactions. At the same time, some local areas have hiked property taxes despite falling property values, and public utility companies are lobbying for price increases. Imposing new and higher taxes and user fees will not help Floridians; such measures will only make their situations worse because they have less money in their pockets to help themselves.When individuals run out of money, they must reassess their budgets and appropriately allocate their resources. It is a preposterous idea that individuals could ask for a raise from their employers when they run out of money, but that is exactly what the government does. When the local and state governments face a budget shortfall, they demand revenue increases to fund programs that put them into debt in the first place.Instead, the government should promote fiscal responsibility by reassessing their budget, trimming excesses and nonessentials, consolidating redundant departments, and eliminating and/or privatizing inefficient programs. Florida’s citizens already have to tighten their belts during these difficult economic times; it is not the government’s place to hang a noose around their neck as well.